Try it out Tuesday: Strength Exercises for Runners

by LCCotter on February 19, 2013

Since I’m currently packing up the apartment, I bribed my husband to post. Evens out, right? Actually, I’ve been wanting him to share his knowledge here for for quite some time now. Today is the day! WHOOP!

Try it out Tuesday

Hi, my name James Cotter (husband to Lindsay of course) and I’m  I’m here to talk about a few strengths exercises that are important to incorporate into your weekly running program. I say this because I have been an injured athlete before and so wish I could go back in time and whisper these exercises into my invisible self.

2010 Rev 3 Quassy

When we look at running form and when the foot first strikes the ground, it is the gluts, quads and abs are first activated. It is the role of the glute muscles I’m going to touch base on. The glutes are there to provide stabilization of the hips.

You will notice if the glutes are weak , during the push that on the opposite side of the body tends to collapse falling inwards while the hips of the toe off side and flaring outwards. Running is kind of like doing heaps of single leg squats so having a weakness can easily lead to injury. You want to make sure the glutes are strong to support all your steps during your event.

Developing the glutes is not very hard and requires good stretch bands. Below are some fantastic, simple and easy exercises to do x3-4 weekly to prevent the collapse of hips and knees.

1. Lateral band walk: tip is to make sure your knee and ankle are always in line with each other. Make sure the ankle doesn’t extent out laterally of the imaginary line. Work your way 15-20 meters to left then 15-20 meters back to right. Progress the distance further when you get stronger.

strength 1 Collage

2. Forward band walk: in a squad position walk up and down a 10-20 meters. Make sure to keep the distance of walk small landing middle arch of planted foot. Land flat footed and keep the stride length short

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3. The clam: Lay on your side and place the band around above your knees and bend the knees back 90 degrees. You are going to left the top leg in a arching motion to engage the glutes. Pick your reps.

strength 2 Collage

4. Bridges: lay on your back and press up with leg or legs. You can progress from bridge to single leg bridge. Break it up into reps of x amount of seconds. Alternate legs.

lay bridge

Let me know if you give these a try or have any other questions. All the best with the rest of your training!

James “kiwi” Cotter

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I’ve posted the last 2 weeks about strengthening your legs and bum. It really does help prevent injury and improve your run! Love these band exercises. I need to do more for my rear view. :)

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:44 am

maybe they will help grow your rear too!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Love this! I’m totally working on these tomorrow!

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Jess @ Blonde Ponytail February 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thank you for posting james! Strengthening is SO VITALLY important for runners! How did I miss this, You’re packing Lindsay?!!!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:45 am

oh yes, we’re moving into a house, for now. haha, no big moves quite yet. Just annoying to move again. But worth it in the end. How are you feeling miss mama to be?!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance February 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Awesome guest post!! :) Thank you for the reminder that I should probably re-implement the band exercises. I used to do them years ago, but I let it fall to the wayside. I am currently working on my glute and hip stability, so I needed that gentle slap on the wrist to get back to it. Thank you!!!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

i think we all need a reminder, yes? a gentle reminder of course

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Awesome! Thanks for sharing, James! I’m 1/2 marathon training (my first EVER!) and these will be great to incorporate into my strength sessions.

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

yay!! so excited for you!

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Bre February 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm

James!!!!! Love these…coming from a knee injury as well, these were definitely part of my rehab too. I need to start taking the time and adding them back into my training plan—thanks for the reminder!! Hope that all is well down in TX and the training is coming along :)

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purelytwins February 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Great post James :)
we need to try using some bands. Love doing bridges!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

you ladies are the queen(s) of bridges! i bet you have it mastered!

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Melissa Love February 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

YES! I needed that — now I need a band :) Thanks James

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

oh the bands are super cheap!! you can buy them at performbetter.com i think.

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Haley @ fullnfit February 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Thanks for sharing, James! Bridges are a go-to exercise for me.. a good burner!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

me too friend! love/hate them!

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Laura @ Mommy Run Fast February 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Such a helpful post! When I had knee pain training for my first marathon 4 or 5 years ago, these were all the stretches that helped me recover and keep it at bay. I haven’t been very consistent since… this is a great reminder to continue using them!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:43 am

i know, it’s hard to be consistent, but a total MUST! yes?

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J.L. February 19, 2013 at 11:41 pm

THANKS! I’m training for my first Ironman, and have the hardest time fitting weights/strength into my schedule. Tried these out already and it’s something I can sneak in at random parts through my day.

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

you did? that’s awesome! glad they are helpful!

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Coco February 20, 2013 at 7:02 am

I’m training for my first half- these will be an awesome addition to my routine! :) Nice to meet you James!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

yay! go coco! you would rock it!

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beka @ rebecca roams February 20, 2013 at 8:07 am

When I began to increase my distance I ended up with a hip injury (right side was significantly weaker) and every single one of these exercises became my must do’s in physical therapy and I continue to do them now (when I remember) so that I don’t end up in PT again. Thank you for sharing and LC should make you post more often!

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Paige @ Your Trainer Paige February 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

This is SO useful! If I had read this 3 years ago while training for my first half, I just might still be running. Pinning this post :)

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Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes February 20, 2013 at 9:17 am

These are great tips! I had to sit out of my marathon when my knee started acting up during tapering. It was so frustrating! As I think about getting back into running after some recovery time, I needed the reminder to also keep doing strength training – thanks! :-) Now, time for some band shopping!

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Healthyleanfit February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

These are great tips! Gives me some ideas for some lower intensity exercises I can work into my routine right now while healing my gut and healing from adrenal fatigue! I forget sometimes that there are ways to work the muscles I used to work with less intensity. Thanks for the reminder!

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Heather (Where's the Beach) February 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

I need to be more consistent with the bands – love the lateral walks (aka firewalkers). I’ve not done the forward or monster walks though.

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Nichole February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

That man was born to lead. Love the fresh perspective, James:)

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

i agree. ;-)

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emily (a nutritionist eats) February 20, 2013 at 11:36 am

I just started running again – this post is perfect! Thanks!

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Christa @ Edible Balance February 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm

oh man, too bad James didn’t post this much earlier!! Marc has been struggling for a long time with injuries/leg issues, always starting about 40 minutes to an hour into his run… he JUST started doing the lateral band exercises, and I’ve emailed the link to this post… hopefully he’s on the right track now!

Thank you James for the great tips!

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness February 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

All 3 are ones I do very regularly and agree they are fabulous for runners! Thanks for sharing, James!

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Kim K February 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Oh JC, you crack me up thinking that these are exercises I would do :)

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Michele @ Nycrunningmama February 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

LOVE this…I find that the higher my mileage gets, the less strength training and stretching I do. So bad, I know.
I am going to try these.
Will they make me run as fast as James, though? =) =)

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

i think you are pretty close already! haha

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Beth @ Miles and Trials February 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Thank you, James. I am coming back from a calf injury and my sports chiropractor gave me the lateral band walk exercise to do. Your post is timely and helpful for me as I am ready to add a few more strengthening exercises for my glutes.

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Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal February 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Those side steps with the band are a life saver!

Thanks for all of the useful info! Loved this post.

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm

i agree! the little moves count the most, yes?

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jobo February 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

LOVE this post!!! Such a great topic and awesome to hear from James ;-) I am doing some of these very exercises as I strengthen my IT band and they REALLY do help. Sometimes the smallest movements make all the difference!!

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

i think we all need him to coach us, yes? hehe. MOVE HERE!

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She Rocks Fitness February 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

What is the name of this band? Love the simplicity of this post, the exercises, and the pictures. Thanks Lindsay for letting him share! He ROCKS!

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kalli February 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

James,
I love this! I need to do it and i need you to be my running coach :)

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

i think so too!

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers February 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Thanks for posting. This is a constant battle for me! (and I have three rounds of PT to prove it… ugh)

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

ugh is right, but hopefully with these you can quit PT!

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) February 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

LINDSAY!! I’ve missed you too friend!! I’ve been catching up on your posts, and you’re moving again?! How exciting!! I can’t wait to see where God will lead you on this leg of your journey! :)

I definitely need to work on strengthening my glutes! I started doing exercises like these after my runs a couple of weeks back, and I’m noticing a difference in my running already!

Love you Linds, hope the moving process is going well! <3

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

oh i have missed you so much!! and it made my day to “hear” from you!! Are you still running for a team? HOw’s life? HUGS!

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Abby @ BackAtSquareZero February 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm

The clam and the bridge are two of my post PT, previously injured runner, go to moves. Nice to hear from your husband and see his writing style too.

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LCCotter February 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm

he’s pretty clever with this writing, well i am bias. ;-)

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Liz February 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I always put exercises like these on the back burner, but know I shouldn’t… thanks for the reminder!

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Adri {Food-N-Thought} February 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

These are great, I need to get me a band and get busy with these! Thanks James (husband to Lindsay of course) > this made me laugh :)

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Heather @ Better With Veggies February 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I love these exercises – haven’t done these recently and I think I’ll add them into the next block. Great post!

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Jess February 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

YAY!! Loved hearing from the hubs on this. AND I’m happy that I’ve done most of these exercises in some shape or form in the past at PT or as part of my regular routine SO this could be why my knees are much happier than they used to be :)

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LCCotter February 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm

and i bet Barre exercises has saved your knees too! You are so fit and healthy these days jess, i love it!

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Pavement Runner February 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Yo Mr. Cotter! Killer exercises, bro! Gotta listen to the advice of a pro… thanks.

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Jody - Fit at 55 February 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Got to love it – need more of this for this old bum! ;) BTW, little typo in the clam – should say lift not left the top leg.. I got what it meant! :) Good luck with that moving!!!

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables February 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I’m so making the hubby read this! He needs to be doing this to help his running and knee pain. I think his glutes are weak and causing poor form. Thanks James! Have fun moving!!

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LCCotter February 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm

they should work out together! hehe. some day!

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More February 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

Very helpful! Think I need to add these to my usual routine. Thanks for sharing!

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LCCotter February 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

let me know if you try them!

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Jess February 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Awesome timing my right knee is causing some trouble and I’ve been needing to work on this! Thank you Lindsay and James!

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LCCotter February 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

oh no, so sorry! I hope these help Jess! Keep me posted

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Thanks for these! I never quite know what I should be doing for leg strengthening when running. I always feel like I’m working so many muscles doing it that I don’t know what ones need a little extra love. :)

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