"

Over training is over rated, rest better so that you can train even more" - Nick Yster Bester


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exercise your upper body to run stronger

Do you exercise your upper body for your running? I do and I know how much it helps me. I am a firm believer in upper body strength for running.

A strong upper body certainly helps the speedsters to run even better times. For me it is not about speed, but about long hours of running. Go run a long distance of more than 6 hours and feel how stiff your shoulders are the next day. Train your upper body with lots of work on your shoulders and it is a completely different story.

It is even more important for trail running. The trails put your whole body through a workout. Run on a tough trail for 6 hours and more and feel how your whole body is punished. Upper body and core strength is the answer.

I never log my upper body training and never really say anything about it, but I do it religiously 3 or 4 times per week. I don't go to a gym and just do the old fashioned dumbbell and sit-up routines at home.

My trusty dumbbells.

3 or 4 times per week I do:

50 sit-ups/crunches
followed by
routine of 25 reps with my 6kg (13.2lb) dumbells
routine of 30 reps with my 2.5kg (5.5lb) dumbbells
followed by another
50 sit-ups/crunches

followed by another
routine of 25 reps with my 6kg dumbells
routine of 30 reps with my 2.5kg dumbbells
and then I end with another
50 sit-ups/crunches

This is all I do apart from running and it is all I need. Believe me it makes a world of difference for the longer runs. I've been doing this for years and years.

Some common dumbbell exercises.

If you are not doing upper body exercises for your running yet...start today, they work wonders!




14 comments:

misszippy said...

I'm in total agreement here. When the legs start to tire at the end of a long run/race, having some upper body strength to help you power through is key. Strength training becomes especially important as we age, too.

Kate Geisen said...

I definitely need to add strength training back in. I love doing it, and I have a great gym membership I'm paying for anyway!

Robin said...

I've started doing some as well, but haven't been doing it for long. I think it's a great idea.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Only the young can get away without core and strength work. :)

Giorgio said...

Great post, Johann! I think upper body strength is also important for half marathon. Unfortunately, I can do it only twice a week ... but it's better than nothing.

Char said...

You're right - I often have sore, stiff shoulders that day after a long run. I've got dumbbells so I guess I've got no excuse not to give it a go.

coach dion said...

I do a few (10) pushup in the morning and the same again in the evening, but I really just do them to warm up...

Liz said...

I did core and upper body training at home with dumbells when I was marathon training, but I find it so boring! It's been a while since i did it, but I know I should get round to it again...

Michael said...

Great post! I always know I should be doing more strength and core training overall, but I'm not always good about it. I had been doing it at least twice a week til my recent wrist injury. I'm still trying to be creative to keep my arms and back in check.

Karien Potgieter said...

So true! But I must admit that I've been very lazy in this department lately...

Sherry said...

I don't, and I need too because I feel my upper body getting tired on harder runs. Last year I had a free 1 month gym membership and it made a noticeable difference in my upper body strength/tone in that short time. I'd been thinking about getting some dumbbells to use at home, so thanks for the prompt!

ultra collie said...

couldnt agree more johann..getting a strong core is critical too :-) hope all's well with you and your family!

lindsay said...

I think it's important to keep the body 'balanced'! Our legs do a lot of work for us, we should be working out our upper bodies too.

Black Knight said...

You are right but just now I wouldn't be able because I have a broken shoulder.
However I swim (not now of course) a lot and it is a very good exercise for the upper body.