WEIGHT A BIT
Many of us steer clear of gym machines in the belief
they aren’t specific enough for running. Not so, says personal trainer Roberta Watts (integra-training.net). ‘Rather than doing exercises that mimic the action of running, choose exercises based on your desired outcome. The machines below strengthen joint stabilisers and key force producers in a more focused way than traditional body-weight exercises.’
WHY The adductors stabilise the hips and pelvis, and also function as hip extensors in running – hip-extension forces increase as you speed up.
HOT TIP Push your heels down as you do the movement. This will focus on your adductors and medial hamstrings.
Seated leg curl
WHY This machine provides stability and support, so you can really focus on your hamstrings.
HOT TIP Make sure your knee joint is aligned to the axis of the machine. Control the motion in both directions with a tempo of three seconds down and three seconds up.
WHY The quads are your knees’ key shock absorbers. The leg extension challenges these muscles through their full range of motion.
HOT TIP Don’t ’swing’ your legs; move them with control and fully lock out your knee during each extension.
(above) WHY It allows you to work each leg individually without worrying about stability issues that you face in standing body-weight moves.
HOT TIP Stay within your active range of motion – you should be able to pull your foot away from the plate when in the bent-knee position.