THE STRENGTH TO SUC­CEED

Per­form one of th­ese quick se­quences of ex­er­cises af­ter each run to beef up run­ning-spe­cific mus­cles and pre­vent com­mon in­juries

Runner's World (UK) - - Coach -

PLANK

Lie on your stom­ach, then prop your weight on your fore­arms and toes, form­ing a straight line from head to feet (no arch­ing your back or stick­ing your bum up in the air). Hold.

BRIDGE

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips, form­ing a straight line from shoul­ders to knees. Ex­tend your right leg, hold for sev­eral sec­onds, then lower and re­peat with your left leg. Con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing legs. Make sure that your hips don’t dip and that your back­side doesn't sag.

SIDE PLANK

Lie on your left side, then lift your body so your weight is on your left fore­arm and the side of your left foot, form­ing a di­ag­o­nal line from head to feet. Hold. To make it harder, add a lat­eral leg raise: lift your right leg about 45 de­grees, hold for a few sec­onds, then lower. Re­peat five to 10 times. For the sec­ond set, switch to your right side.

MODIFIED BICYCLE

Lie on your back, legs ex­tended. Raise your left leg and bend it 90 de­grees. Raise your right leg two to three inches off the floor. Hold for sev­eral sec­onds, then switch. Con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing. Keep your lower back in a neu­tral po­si­tion: slip a hand un­der the small of your back; your back should not press into the floor or lift up off your hand.

SUPINE LEG LIFT

Lie on your back with your weight on your el­bows and heels. Lift your hips and main­tain a straight line from your toes to your shoul­ders (don’t for­get to ac­ti­vate your glutes and your core). Now lift one leg about 20cm off the ground, hold for sev­eral sec­onds, then switch to the op­po­site leg. Con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing.

MODIFIED BIRD DOG

Start on all fours, with a flat back. Lift your left arm so it’s par­al­lel to the ground. At the same time, lift your right leg so your thigh is par­al­lel to the ground and your shin is per­pen­dic­u­lar. Your knee should be bent at 90 de­grees and your glutes should be ac­ti­vated. Hold for sev­eral sec­onds, then switch sides. Con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing.

ONE-LEGGED SQUATS

Stand­ing on one leg, slowly squat so your thigh is al­most par­al­lel to the ground. Keep your spine in a neu­tral po­si­tion. Your knee should not col­lapse in­ward. Do five to 10 reps, then switch sides and re­peat.

LEG RAISES

Lie on your left side with a re­sis­tance band around your an­kles. Lift your right leg about 45 de­grees in a con­trolled man­ner, then lower. Do 30 reps, then switch sides and re­peat.

CLAMSHELLS

Lie on your left side with your knees to­gether and a re­sis­tance band around your lower thighs. Your knees should be bent 90 de­grees, with your thighs at a 45-de­gree an­gle from your body. Keep­ing your pelvis still and your feet to­gether, raise your right in a con­trolled man­ner. Do 30 reps, then switch sides.

HIP THRUSTS

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips, form­ing a straight line from shoul­ders to knees. Lift one leg so all your weight is on the other leg and your back. Lower your bum al­most to the ground and thrust up­ward by ac­ti­vat­ing your glutes. Do 25 reps on each leg.

SIDE-STEPS/SHUFFLE

With a re­sis­tance band around your an­kles and your knees slightly bent, take 10 steps lat­er­ally. The band should be tight enough so it pro­vides con­stant re­sis­tance. Fac­ing the same di­rec­tion, take an­other 10 steps back to your start­ing po­si­tion. That’s one set; com­plete five sets.

HIP HIKES

Stand on your right foot with your left leg slightly bent. Drop your left hip so it is sev­eral inches be­low your right hip. Ac­ti­vate your right hip mus­cle to lift your left hip back to its start­ing po­si­tion. Do 20 reps, then switch sides.

IRON CROSS

Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides and legs straight. Swing your right leg over your torso and up to­ward your left hand. Re­peat with your left leg. That’s one rep; do 20.

ALL-ROUNDER Th­ese ex­er­cises do more than help pro­tect you from in­jury: they will im­prove your run­ning form, too.

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