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 Strength Training For Distance Runners  
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Keeping Fit by . View all columns in series

Generally speaking, you should see about a 40 to 50 percent increase in your exercise weightloads after eight to 10 weeks of regular strength training. Although some of the initial strength gain is due to motor learning factors, you should notice a significant improvement in muscle function during your training runs. You should also be much more resistant to typical running injuries.

The following chart presents 12 major muscle groups of the body, and my recommended Nautilus or free-weight strength building exercises. This is a fairly comprehensive program of basic exercises designed for overall muscle conditioning. Try to make every repetition as productive as possible by using slow movement speed and full movement range.



Recommended Strength Exercises For Runners

MAJOR MUSCLES NAUTILUS MACHINES FREE WEIGHTS
Quadraceps Leg Extentsions Squat
(Barbell/Dumbell)
Hamstrings Leg Curl Squat
(Barbell/Dumbell)
Gluteals Hip Extension Squat
(Barbell/Dumbell)
Pectoralis Major Double Chest Bench Press
(Barbell/Dumbell)
Latissimus Dorsi Super Pullover Bent Rowing
(Dumbell)
Deltoids Lateral Raise Lateral Raise
(Dumbell)
Biceps Biceps Curl Biceps Curl
(EZ Bar/Dumbell)
Triceps Triceps Extension Triceps Extension
(EZ Bar/Dumbell)
Spinal Erectors Low Back Back Extersion
Body Weight
Abdominals Abdominal Tunk Curl
Body Weight
Upper Trapezius Neck and Shoulder Shrug
(Barbell/Dumbell)
Neck Flexors/Extensors Four-Way Neck -------------


References:

1. Westcott, W., Dolan, F., and Cavicchi, T. 1996. Golf and strength training are compatible activities. Strength and Conditioning, 18:4, 54-56.

2. Westcott, W. and Guy, J. 1996. A physical evolution. IDEA Today, 14:9, 58-65.

3. Starkey, D., Pollock, M., Ishida, Y., et al. 1996. Effect of resistance training volume on strength and muscle thickness. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 28:10, 1311-1320.

4. Westcott, W. 1993. How many repetitions? Nautilus. 2:3, 6-7.

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 About The Author
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......moreWayne Westcott PhD
 
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