Seven moves to a fitter, faster you.
Want to speed past the ﬁnish line? Make sure you strengthen more than just your lower-body muscles. Besides strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as gluteal and calf muscles, don’t forget to focus on improving core strength and joint mobility when it comes to pavement pounding too.
“For example, strong ankles allow you to have good ground reaction force so you can toe-off effectively, while ﬂexible hip joints give you better control of the leg, lower back and core – all essential muscles that are crucial for running,” says Tommy Yau, national ﬁtness manager at Fitness First Singapore.
Do these moves to run faster and beat your PB. (Photo: ostill / www.123rf.com)
“Running is a full-body workout that involves various groups of muscles and joints, which is why it’s important to include strengthening and resistance work in your plan,” says Tommy, who designed the following exercises. Do it for visible results – a ﬁtter, faster you – in just ﬁve weeks!
Pick a routine that suits your ﬁtness level.
Beginners Perform two sets of 8 to 12 reps for each exercise, two times a week.
Intermediate Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps for each exercise, three times a week.
Advanced Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, with a 15-second transition from one to the other.
Rest after completing all seven exercises. Repeat two to three sets if you’re getting stronger. Do two to three times a week.
1. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Jump Squat
Mimics arm swings and strengthens lower body including glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings
Squat with feet shoulder-width apart, thighs and knees forming right angles. Keep back straight, lean torso slightly forward and swing arms back. As you jump, swing arms forward and reach up. Land lightly on balls of feet to return to starting position. Look straight ahead throughout.
2. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Ice Skater
Improves ﬂexibility in iliotibial bands (in knees), strengthens ankles, and builds hip abductor strength
Stand on one leg, knee bent. Place other leg behind leading leg, toes touching ground. Keeping back straight, lean torso slightly forward, placing arms as though you’re skating for balance. As you jump sideways, alternate arms and feet.
Optional: Use a Bosu Balance Trainer, as pictured, to up the workout intensity. (Photo: ostill / www.123rf.com)
3. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Bosu Mountain Climber
Builds core strength, improves knee drive, and creates ﬂexibility in pelvic/hip region
Placing hands at edge of Bosu Balance Trainer (optional), get into plank position, keeping back straight. Bring alternate knees up to chest.
4. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Dynamic Push-up
Strengthens arms and core muscles
Get into half plank position with knees on ﬂoor, keeping body in straight line. Lower into push-up, until arms are bent at 90 degrees. Straighten arms and get into plank position. Rotate torso to face right, lifting right arm overhead, palms facing out. Return to plank position and repeat on other side.
5. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Dynamic Lunge with Arms Extended Laterally
Increases ﬂexibility in hip ﬂexors
Lunge forward with right foot. Keeping back straight, reach arms up to ceiling. Tilt torso towards the right, and hips towards the left. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
6. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Dynamic Hip Flexor Frog Crawl
Strengthens glutes and core as well as improves hip ﬂexibility
Get in plank position. Bring right foot to the outside of right hand, bending left knee. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
7. Exercise Moves to Run Faster: Crossing Balance Lunge
Improves balance as well as strengthens hip, gluteal and core muscles
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, forearms extended in front of you. Lift left leg off ground and cross it behind right leg, slowly lowering body as you do so. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.