The Importance of Strength Training for Runners

For those of you who are runners or are looking into getting acquainted with running, you might notice some pain or discomfort in your knees during and or after your runs. Whether you are running on a treadmill, track, sidewalk, road, or trails your knee joints are taking a pounding with all of the force that is being put on them. You may wonder, how can I combat this and give my knees a fighting chance in order to let our bodies run? One thing we can do is strength train!

One reason knee pain can occur while running is due to weakened muscles in our quadriceps and or hamstrings and gluteal muscles. There is a muscle in our quadriceps called the Vastus Medialis that keeps our patellar bone (which is your kneecap) in place with what is called the patellar groove. When this muscle is weaker, it has trouble keeping the bone in the groove thus leading it to grind on other bones, tendons, and muscles causing pain with every step that you take.

Another reason could be an imbalance of strength in our quadriceps and hamstrings and glutes; this mostly occurs when our quadriceps are stronger than the hamstrings and glutes, “quad dominant.” Typically, your hamstrings and glutes are stronger than your quadriceps due to the size of the muscles, but when your quadriceps become “overpowering,” it is usually due to improper training. This improper training can most mostly be due to undertraining and not working your hamstring and gluteal muscles enough.

The main point here is to make sure you incorporate strength training in your routine and keep a balanced attack. Make sure to train your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes equally and thoroughly to ensure proper and balanced strength. Here are some exercises that can be done to strengthen these muscle groups!

Hamstrings and Gluteal Muscles: back squats, glute bridges, donkey kicks, hamstring curls, deadlifts, forward and reverse lunges

Below is a video tutorial on how to do these hamstring and gluteal exercises:

Quadriceps: leg extension, front squats, goblet squats, Bulgarian split squat, forward and reverse lunges

Below is a video tutorial on how to do these quadriceps exercises!

If you would like to know more or have any questions on how to strengthen these muscles or more information on how to reduce knee pain or soreness while running, talk with a fitness trainer today!

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