Whether you are a barefoot or conventional runner, strength training should be an integral part of your conditioning program. Strength training for runners should emphasize the abdominals and core stability.
A little side note on core stability (anytime we talk about the core, I repeat this note): most people believe that core stability is all about ab work. Not so. Core stability is about strengthening the muscles that are above and below the pelvis. More emphasis needs to be placed on low back extensors, obliques, and inner and outer thigh muscles to help strengthen your core. By having a strong core, the pelvis will stay more stationary during running, allowing your legs to push harder, and help you become a more efficient runner.
Today we focus on metronomes aka windshield wipers – click here to watch a video of Tidewater Personal and Sports Performance Trainers Cody Morris and William Blaber demonstrating metronomes.
Metronomes can be used in conjunction with side planks to help target the oblique muscles. These muscles provide stability for your pelvis and help to keep your pelvis level as you run. It is important to remember when performing this exercise to keep your legs straight and bring your knees towards the ground. If you have a hard time keeping your legs straight, an alternative to is to bend your knees. Avoid jerky motions when performing metronomes as it can place a strain on your back.
Read more Strength Training Tips For Runners here, where you’ll find the first series of Blog posts that feature building up the legs.
*Matthew Ammons is a doctor of physical therapy and practices at Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Redmill clinic in Virginia Beach. The core exercises featured in this Strength Training For Runners series are not a comprehensive list of all core stability exercises specific for runners. For a more personalized plan, I suggest meeting with a physical therapist or certified personal trainer to help establish a stabilization program that is right for you. A runner with a strong core is faster and more efficient. By providing a stable base for your legs to work from, you will be able to runner longer and live life stronger every day.