Get Stronger

Runners are often focussed on moving faster. But when it comes to strength training, slowing down can be beneficial. There are three ways to work a muscle: isometric (no movement), concentric (contracting the muscle) and eccentric (releasing the muscle). Eccentric strength training involves slowing down the release of a muscle, which puts the muscle under a different kind of stress. By challenging the muscles in this way, they get stronger and become more resistant to damage, says kinesiology expert Juan Gonzalez, Ph.D. As you do the following exercises, pay attention to pacing: One part of the movement should be done slowly.


P48-180x180-oneleggedsquat1. One-Legged Squat

Why? Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core.

How? Place a stability ball between a wall and the small of your back. Lift your left leg and slowly squat down until your right leg is at a 45-degree angle. Stand back up at normal speed. Do three sets of six reps per leg.


P48-180x180-hamstringcurl2. Hamstring Curl

Why? Works the hamstrings.

How? Lie on the ground with your knees bent 90 degrees and a light medicine ball between your feet or ankles. While keeping your torso on the ground, squeeze the ball and slowly lower your legs (shown above). Return to start at normal speed. Do three to four sets of six to eight reps.


P48-180x180-hover3. Hover

Why? Strengthens the core.

How? Start in a plank position with elbows and forearms resting on the ground. Lift your butt as high as possible toward the ceiling at normal speed (shown below). Then slowly release back into a plank position. Do three to four sets of six to eight reps.


P48-180x180-legbalance4. Leg Balance

Why? Works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core while boosting balance.

How? Place your right foot on the flat side of a Bosu Trainer and the toes of your left foot touching the ground. Lift your left knee slowly up (shown below). Balance for a second, then lower back down at normal speed. Do three to four sets of six reps on each leg.


P48-180x180-hipabduction5. Hip Abduction

Why? Targets the abductors.

How? Attach one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object and the other end to your right leg. Walk sideways away from the band’s anchor until you feel resistance. Bring your right leg toward your left leg at normal speed. Then slowly let your leg move back out (shown below). Do four sets of 25 reps on each leg.

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