As a runner, I’ve been requested which muscle mass I train – as in weight coaching – to maintain me wholesome. That is – if I can solely hit the fitness center to work on sure muscle tissue to make me a greater, quicker, stronger, much less damage-susceptible runner – the place ought to I focus my time?
Here’s one (VERY) technical reply to the query: vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris, semitendinosis, semimembrinosis, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius and the soleus.
Not solely is that this not very useful to most of us, I additionally do not consider it is solely correct as a result of we interact many different minor muscle tissue once we run.
Here are the key muscle teams you employ when operating:
Quadriceps. Also referred to as quads, that is truly a muscle group made up of of 4 muscular tissues on the entrance of your thighs, or higher legs.
Your quads get tons of labor if you’re operating – particularly lengthy distance and excessive depth exercises like hills or intervals. But in fact, keep in mind that all of that work is excessive repetition and low resistance.
So they’re nonetheless an excellent candidate to work on within the health club to develop larger power.
Hamstrings. Again, that is actually a muscle group made up of a number of muscle mass situated alongside the again of your thighs.
Now whereas these muscle tissues work reverse to your quads, the hamstrings do not actually work arduous or by way of a really lengthy vary of movement when operating. I as soon as had a really painful hamstring damage that laid me up from operating for a number of months.
It’s necessary to work in your hamstrings in cross-coaching in order that they’re successfully strengthened to work towards your highly effective quads. This will make it easier to to maintain your knees wholesome and also you off the disabled listing.
Gluteus Maximus. Better generally known as ‘glutes‘, this muscle is what provides your bottom that nice, eye-catching form.
But greater than catching eyes and supplying you with one thing snug to take a seat on, your glutes assist to work your hips whereas operating. Your glutes may also become involved in a wholesome decrease again, so operating contributes to a wholesome-again health regime.
Calves. Again, this actually a muscle group (made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscular tissues), although smaller than the others beforehand talked about. They are situated alongside the bottom of the decrease leg.
Runners with rather well-developed calves present very angular muscular tissues. I’ve seen this lots in sprinters or myself when I’m doing heavy hill or interval coaching. In the fitness center, calf-raises can even flip weak calves into very spectacular muscle tissues.
Hip Flexors. Though not leg muscle mass, your hip flexors even have lengthy and completely unpronounceable names: iliacus and psoas. They’re additionally more durable to find as they join your backbone to your hips and your hips to your higher legs.
While these muscle tissues do not essentially drive your legs whereas operating, they’re essential for flexing your hips. So, when you wish to latin dance along with operating, you in all probability have fairly wholesome hip flexors.
Core Muscles. In addition to the muscle tissues of your legs, your core muscle mass are very a lot concerned in operating. These embrace your stomach muscle mass that are essential for sustaining a wholesome decrease again.
I advocate each runner embrace core health workouts as a part of an efficient cross-coaching program. It will hold your again wholesome on lengthy or intense runs and make you a greater runner general.
Other Muscles. Unless you run together with your arms strapped to your sides, you’re in all probability exercising your biceps, that are the ‘huge weapons’ that bodybuilders like to point out off on the highest aspect of their higher arms.
There are nonetheless numerous minor muscle tissues not mentioned, however nonetheless used when operating. This is why operating is such an efficient entire physique train.
By Jim Oldfield