Running is part of your lifestyle. You take care of your figure. You want to stay dynamic. A “healthy form” supplement is essential.
Since you are working on your legs while running, program an upper bodybuilding program. Preferably opt for a “cardio muscu” course.
In order not to make a movement error, avoid dumbbells, use guided load machines. For each of them, find the approximate charge allowing you to perform 30 to 50 repetitions. Thus, the joint and tendon constraints are moderate.
Limit recovery to the time necessary to change positions. Alternate muscle groups and orientation of gestures: push, pull, move up, and down. Follow these exercises for 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on your progress and the time you have available.
A workout like this burns many calories, much more than the traditional method. In this way, it effectively participates in controlling your weight. You refine your figure and you draw your muscular reliefs without gaining mass.
In fact, ladies, this concept is also for you! This almost continuous activity and the choice of long series involve your cardiovascular system in endurance, it is a real “healthy health” program.
Of course, gentlemen, if the look is your priority, if you are not afraid of gaining muscle weight that will slow you down during your jogging, you can alternate with a classic heavyweight training session. In these conditions, to balance your program, consider this training as cardiac stress of the split type.
How Is The Muscle Contracted?
When the order to perform a movement is given by the brain, a nerve impulse arrives at the muscle cells, causing the release of an excitatory neurotransmitter. This releases the calcium stored in the muscle cell: the contraction is initiated!
There are three forms of muscle contractions:
- Isometric: to resist stress without there being any particular movement. Ex: The Plank
- Concentric: the muscle is shortened, the insertions get closer. For example, to run you have to concentrically contract the flexor muscles of the thigh to flex the hip and move forward. When you lift a weight and contract your biceps, it’s also concentric.
- Eccentric: conversely, the muscle lengthens. To take the previous example, in descent, the quadriceps must slow down the advancement of the body, more precisely at the level of the knee bend, characteristic of an eccentric contraction. To put it simply, it’s about restraining the movement.
An eccentric contraction occurs at the same time as the muscle lengthens, which can generate micro-cracks in the muscle fibers. It is these micro-cracks that give you pain until 48 hours after the race, what we call aches. Correctly dosed, these micro-cracks are essential for muscle adaptation and effective for gaining muscle strength.
The 5 Methods Of Muscle Building In Running
So what I’m going to start with is listing the different ways to build muscle in running. Then you can dig into it to do what appeals to you the most.
1- Muscle building exercises to do at home
The first is the simplest with exercises at home. Squat, Lunges, Push up, … It may not be the most fun … But it has the advantage of being done at home and in 30 ‘max per session. In short, the excuse of “I don’t have time” is to be shelved with this method. If we don’t do this session, it’s just that we’re lazy!
Personally I find that the best time to tackle these muscle-building sessions is early in the morning. It’s so easy to cram a 20 to 30 ’workout at a time when it doesn’t change the dynamics of our day. And besides, there is nothing like it to really wake up and start the day in shape!
2- Build muscle with stairs
Simple and effective, the exercises to do with stairs are among the essentials of muscle building! And no need to have very long stairs for that, a dozen steps may be enough! In absolute terms, you can even do this in your stairwell at home or even at work on your lunch break on the fire escape!
Not very glamorous but when you want to optimize your time as much as possible, it’s sometimes these kinds of things that make the difference! In short, there is always a staircase somewhere that can do the trick so it’s the same, integrating this kind of session or not is often more a question of willpower than anything else!
3- Hill reinforcement: a basic!
Sprinting? At VMA pace? Or in endurance work … We can do everything with the rib sessions and each time there is a strengthening part due to the additional force that must be produced to climb! The advantage of the ribs is that they can ultimately be kept throughout the year if the different types of sessions are used. This is why the ribs are part of the sessions that I find most important for the runner! They allow both to work the muscular side and the development of endurance.
In the end, the best way to strengthen yourself for running … It is to do exercises that are as close as possible to the gesture of running! And what can be closer to running than … Running? In short, you will understand, if the other types of muscle building are in my opinion as important, this method remains my favorite!
4- Soft muscle strengthening on a home trainer bike
Using a home trainer or an exercise bike to pedal hard is the preferred method for cyclists. And since I tested it, I really adopted this method! You will not do 100% of your muscle-building for cycling. But there is a big interest all the same. The main advantage is that it is a worn sport. The bike is therefore gentle on the muscles since there are no shocks. This is a strengthening session which therefore fits very well in a week of training. It does not disturb your week by leaving you with a lot of stiffness!
No need to put a huge intensity. Pedaling in force means above all at a low rate (around 60 RPM). We pedal at a medium intensity, where we feel that pedaling mobilizes our muscles in a deep way compared to a classic pedaling. Be careful with your knees with this type of exercise. This requires having bike settings adapted to your body type so as not to force it. In particular, the seat height to avoid getting hurt.
5- Bonus method: Kenyan reinforcement!
The 5th method is actually a bonus, I haven’t tested it, I just found it! It is the method of strengthening the world record holder of the marathon Eliud Kipchoge. You will see that it is quite astonishing … Nobody would have thought of it yet when we see the solidity of its stride at the end of a marathon … We can say that it is rather effective!
His method is nothing more than a long, very dynamic stepper session! 1 hour of exercise of this type in succession is gentle reinforcement but repeating this kind of gesture for 1 hour produces its effect. Well, don’t forget that in terms of hilly terrain Kenya is king so … Its training is also a good way to do gentle reinforcement every day!
How Do Muscles Work When Running?
Each stride of the race consists of a support phase (when the foot is in contact with the ground) and an oscillation or suspension phase.
The support phase is divided into 2 phases:
- Impact absorption: your muscles contract to absorb the impact and slow the body’s progress. They somehow break you, and in particular the quadriceps, in eccentric contraction. The large and medium glutes also contract to control the progress.
- Propulsion of the body: at the end of this 1st phase, the hamstrings are activated to straighten the hip just before starting the propulsion. To propel the body forward 2 muscle groups are essential: the ischios and calves which participate in the knee flexion and prepare the advance of the lower limb.
The anterior tibial muscle is also active: it is the main responsible for the dorsiflexion of the foot. The abdominal and gluteal muscles are not to be outdone since they serve to stabilize the hip and back joints to allow good movement of the lower limbs.
Ultimately, running is a sport that mobilizes and muscles the whole body. Obviously, we must take care of and strengthen these muscles to run sustainably.
And Why Are We Injured While Running?
Studies show that about 50% of runners experience at least one injury in running. These injuries are mainly at the skeletal muscle level (muscles, tendons, joints). It is a sign that you have exceeded your limit, a limit influenced by a multitude of factors (training intensity, muscular imbalance, biomechanics, shoes, diet, injury history, etc.) that can be controlled.
Knowing the types of muscle contractions and the muscles involved in running is important for working on strengthening these muscles and also for managing the intensity of your training. For example, your muscle exercises should be aimed at strengthening the lower muscles, especially when opposing groups are involved: quadriceps exercises, for example, should be balanced by training the hamstrings. Also think of strengthening your abdominal strap to maintain your back, with Core Stability Training. And don’t forget about eccentric muscle building!