Strength Training for Runners
The Upper-Body Workout for Runners
Take It to the Top
The best distance athletes don't just have impressive quads and glutes. They have muscular arms and shoulders that help them maintain speed throughout their races. (Search: As a runner, how often should I cross-train?) When you run, your arms counterbalance the motion of your legs, resulting in saved energy. The swing of the arms helps propel the body forward so the lower body isn't doing all the work. And a strong upper body bolsters a runner's form when fatigue sets in. (Related: To learn more about how your body reacts to running, check out The Complete Book of Running) Do these exercises twice a week, after a run or as a stand-alone workout.
See a video of this routine, including bonus moves, at runnersworld.com/upperbodystrength.
This workout was created by Nikki Kimball, MSPT, a three-time USATF Ultrarunner of the Year who practices physical therapy in Montana.