Functional Strength Training Improves Running

Running is sport specific; you must run to run. But contrary to popular belief, running does not make you stronger. In order to run efficiently with good technique and without injury, runners should add functional strength training to their regimen.

Exercises performed on traditional machines at the gym such as the open chain leg extension, do not stress the muscles in a way that is running specific. Functional strength training exercises focus on
  • balance and coordination
  • core strength
  • eccentric and concentric contractions (contracting muscles while lengthening and shortening)
  • flexibility
  • specificity to activity
A good functional training program for runners should include a variety of high repetition, low resistance exercises for both upper and lower extremity as well as core work. Exercises should focus on flexibility and strength of the hip complex as well as a good balance between quadricep and hamstring strength.

Check your local gym for group classes or look for a personal trainer that offers functional strength training.

Personal Best's Studio PB classes offer functional strength training classes that are specifically designed for runners and taught by a licensed physical therapist and certified running coach. Click on the logo below for more information on Studio PB classes.