Resistance Bands for Runners
To be a successful endurance runner, you need to do more than just cardio. Strength exercises are vital to increasing speed. A lot of athletes forgo the gym due to expenses and lack of desire to stay inside. However, there is a way to get in strength training without a lot of equipment or a gym membership. Meet the resistance band! Not only is it inexpensive, but it's also a flexible piece of equipment that can be used for multiple exercises, as well as stretching.
The basic science behind resistance bands is they add resistance to your muscles when you’re working out. When you are using a resistance band during exercises, your muscles have to be engaged against the tension. It works in a similar fashion to dumbbells and kettlebells, but the biggest difference is that resistance bands don’t rely on gravity, instead you work against the resistance of the band.
How can you incorporate resistance bands into your workouts?
There are a lot of ways! You can use them as a warm up before a run or as a strength exercise to help work out muscles that you normally neglect. They are great for stretching your hip muscles and can help improve stability and balance; all of which are vital for a decent run.
So, if you are in the market for a cheap and easy way to work out that doesn’t take up a lot of room, stock up on some of these handy little bands.
Check out below some suggested exercises to start out with, but don’t be afraid to branch out! Resistance bands are versatile and there are hundreds of moves you can do with them.
Up Your Resistance!
This is a great exercise to incorporate some resistance. Lie flat on your back, with your arms at your side. Have a fit loop resistance band around the middle of your thighs. Place your feet shoulder length apart. Slowly lift your lower body off of the ground, making sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge. Lower back down to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
Lateral Side Walk
Place a fit looped band around your middle thighs. Hinge at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. Start out with your legs shoulder width apart. Slowly take your right leg and step to the right, with your left leg staying where it is. Then bring your left foot to your right foot. Hold for a moment before repeating. Do as many reps as you like of this.
Place the fit loop resistance band around your mid-thighs. Lying on your side with hips and knees bent and knees together, raise your top knee toward the ceiling, keeping your feet together. Hold, then slowly lower your knee. Repeat several times on both sides.