5 Upper Body Exercises That Every Runner Should Do
Having a strong upper body will help to slash your run time.
When it comes to running, most would consider leg-focused training. But don’t overlook the fact that a strong upper body can help to improve your runs. As running requires the constant weight shift from one leg to the other, having strong abdominals and back muscles will ensure that you maintain a good running form for more energy-efficient runs.
By doing these exercises, you’ll have a better posture to propel yourself forward. The result? You can cover a longer distance with the same effort.
Do these exercises twice a week on your rest days.
Photos: Huy Pham
Targets shoulders, triceps, core
Start in a plank position with forearms on the ground. Position elbows directly under shoulders. Arms should be shoulder-width apart. Place one palm firmly on the ground and push yourself up. Then, place other palm on the ground to get into high plank. Immediately place one elbow back on the ground, followed by the other elbow to return to forearm plank. Your back should be flat, and hips parallel to ground. Continue for 30 seconds.
(Also read: 6 Reasons Why You’re Not Improving As A Runner (Even If You Run Regularly))
Targets core and abdominals
Start in a plank position with forearms on the ground. Position elbows directly under shoulders. Arms should be shoulder-width apart. Ensure that hips don’t drop. Engage your core and hold the position for one minute.
(Also read: One Minute Of Running Everyday Improves Your Bone Health By 4%)
1 minute each side
Lie on your left side with legs straight. Lift yourself up and support your body with your forearm. Rest your right hand on your hip. Engage your core and make sure that your hips do not drop. Hold the position for one minute, then switch sides.
Targets lower back
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Put hands on your hips or cross arms in front of you. Hinge forward at your hips and look ahead. Lift your torso slightly before hinging forward again. Push butt back and keep knees soft throughout the exercise. Do 20 reps.
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Position hands shoulder-width apart on a stable elevated platform, such as a chair. Butt should be off the platform, legs bent at 90 degrees. Straighten arms with a slight bend in elbows to keep the tension in your triceps. Bend elbows at about 90 degrees and lower your butt towards ground. Keep your back close to the platform. Then, press into the platform to push yourself back up. This is one rep. Do 20 reps.