Sunday 25 September 2016

Siobhan Byrne: Exercises to develop good core strength

Our fitness expert recommends that runners focus on building core strength to increase speed

Siobhan Byrne

Published 18/08/2015 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne: Set monthly targets for yourself
Siobhan Byrne: Set monthly targets for yourself
Squat with upright row 1
Squat with upright row 2
Alternating clean 1
Alternating clean 2
Alternating superman 1
Alternating superman 2

Last week we discussed some of the reasons why every runner should strength train to help their speed, agility and aid the prevention of future injuries caused from having weak muscle groups.

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One of the questions most people first ask me about strength training for running, is what are the best types of exercises to look at.

The simple answer to that question is to start with a basic strength-training programme that allows you to develop good core strength with upper and lower body development.

Everything from abs to biceps and rear delts and back are all equally important muscles to consider.

Looking at it simply, where one muscle is weaker it can cause strain or pull on other muscles, meaning the body won't work as efficiently as possible.

Basic strength-training programmes can be started on light weights, building up weight as you develop. They should incorporate a variety of compound and isolation movements.

This can include squats or chest press and leg extension, for example, as part of your routine. Once you have the foundations of a full body workout that you develop into a routine, look to change it up after a few months.

Adding in plyometrics, when the body is ready, can be a real shock to the muscles and developing good functional movements can be a great way not just to develop strength but also to build on fitness levels and agility.

Keep track of your training and set monthly targets for yourself.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Week 2: A faster run

Squat with upright row

1/ Start in a squat position with feet wide, holding a kettlebell in both hands between the legs, with straight arms.

2/ Stand up to a straight position and raise the kettlebell to just under your chin, keeping your elbows high. Return to start position and then repeat.

Alternating Clean

1/ Start by standing upright, holding a kettlebell in each hand. With knees slightly bent, thrust your hips up, pulling one kettlebell up to shoulder height.

2/ Lower this kettlebell back to start position, repeating the exact same movement on the opposite side. Continue this exercise, alternating throughout.

Alernating Superman

1/ Lie face down with your abdomen on a Bosu Balance Trainer, with your legs straight and your arms outstretched overhead.

2/ Then raise one arm and one leg straight up off the floor. Lower both leg and arm and repeat with the other arm and leg, keeping your arms and legs straight throughout.

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