Emma Coburn is a former world champion in the 3,000m steeplechase and one of the most revered American runners. Coburn is always sharing her favourite strength exercises on Instagram, and they’re routines that are helpful for every kind of runner.
Coburn’s most recent series focuses on the functional movements that runners do everyday. If you’re looking to up your strength game, consider implementing a few of these into your routine. All you need is a resistance band and a place to anchor it (if you’re in a gym, a squat rack works well, if you’re at home the stair banister or a heavy table will do the trick).
Standing A’s (video one)
With this exercise, focus on engaging your core and arms. Running is a full body movement, and this exercise really reinforces that. It’s a great way to improve form along with hip and oblique strength.
Single leg dead lifts (video two)
The dead lift works on a runner’s back, hamstrings and core. With the dead lift, start without a band if it feels too difficult (these exercises are all about form), and once you’ve got your form down, add the pull-back with the band. Again, focus on moving slowly and engaging your core.
Dead bugs (video three)
The key here is to keep your back anchored to the ground and your legs and arms as straight as possible. From this position, fully extend your legs, leaving them hovering for a second before pulling them back in. Repeat on the other side.
Lunge pull backs (video four)
Arm carriage is a huge element of running efficiency. In a lunge position, draw your arm from extension as far back as you can go. You should feel the exercise in your lats (latissimus dorsi). While lunging don’t let your front knee fall over your big toe.
Hamstring stretch (video five)
The fifth exercise is a good old-fashioned hamstring stretch. There’s nothing too exciting about this one, but many runners have tight hamstrings as a result of their high mileage. With the hamstring stretch, remember to keep the foot dorsi-flexed.