You do not just require fit legs for running but even a healthy back. If the muscles in your back are not strong enough, they will get exhausted faster and take energy away from the other muscles. It will further result in a change in stride, leading to injury. Here are a few exercises for runners who want to improve their performance by building posterior string muscles.
Exercises For Runners: Concentrating On The Lower Back
The lower back muscles help in keeping the body erect. They also help in rotating the body slightly while running. These muscles give the thighs and the hips more energy required for pushing forward. If you have a fragile low back, it can exert a lot of pressure on your hamstrings. It will again change your stride resulting in injuries from the hips to the ankle.
One good exercise for strengthening the lower back is back extensions. For this, you will have to lie down straight and press the pelvis on the floor while lifting your head, shoulders, arms, and chest. Hold on to this position for a minimum of five seconds. The exercise should be repeated at least ten times for good results.
Exercises For Runners: Upper Back Or Shoulders
Strong shoulders help in keeping the upper body comfortable and relaxed. Your shoulders work in close coordination with your arms when it comes to propelling the body forward. You can breathe more efficiently. Proper spinal coordination helps in optimizing the work procedure of the diaphragm and the lungs.
A good exercise for strengthening the shoulders or the upper back is planks. For this, you will have to rest the weight of your entire body on your elbows. You should hold on to this posture for at least sixty seconds. Repeat it five to ten times, and you will find a big difference in the strength of your shoulders. You can even balance the weight of your body on your forearm by holding on to twenty seconds. Repeat this posture five times for satisfactory results.
Exercises For Strong Hips
Strong hips help runners in driving forward while stabilizing their landing. Strong hips also help in preventing excessive side-to-side movement that might put a strain on the back resulting in leg injuries. Leg lifts are highly efficient when it comes to building strong hips. It is an easy exercise that you can practice at home. You need to lift your leg up and then lower it slowly. Repeat the process twelve to fifteen times with each leg to get the right results.
Another exercise that you can practice for strengthening your hips is kneeling hip flexor stretch. You need to lunge while keeping your upper body straight. Your front knee should be behind your toes, and you need to push the hips forward. Remain in this position for 30 seconds and try the same with your other side.
Side planks, bird dog, cat-cow, and side-lying leg raises are other exercises that you can try out for building strong hips and lower back.