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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Exercises to Help You Run Faster and More Efficiently

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You may have heard the saying that when working out, form is everything. That’s true, even when it comes to running. Here are some exercises that can help you improve your running form.

To be better at running, running itself is not enough. You also have to do more things. Twenty minutes for some of the exercises you see here can help you with your form and your running efficiency. It will also greatly improve your stride cadence and overall competition pace.

The exercises here focuses on the fundamental movements of a runner’s form and emphasizes these fundamental movements via repetition. Due to repetition, the body adjusts and becomes more used to these movements. Before you know it, doing it feels like second nature, part of muscle memory. You can use these exercises as ballistic warm-up routines after ten minutes of light jogging and before the training itself. You can also use these exercises after training to remind yourself of good and proper form while you are tired and most prone to bad form.

Try doing these exercises 3x or 4x in a week. Focus on moving the right way, with the right form. There are a lot more exercises that you can sneak into your training regimen, but what you always have to keep in mind is that they’ll work only if you do them on a consistent basis.

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Kicking your butt

Butt kicking engages the hamstring of a leg and emphasizes on recovering from the way you run and improving the pacing of your legs.

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All you have to do is just keep running in place with the upper legs staying the way they are while your lower legs are trying to kick your butt with your heels during their strides. Your body should remain still as you flick your lower legs back. The heels need to touch your butt. Try improving your flexibility if your heels are not touching your butt.

Try doing 2x to 4x with 15 back-kicks per leg.

Raising your knees

This particular exercise focuses on lifting the knees and butt, and the strength of each hamstring. These are significant factors when it comes to helping a runner run faster with more efficiency. It also improves strength and efficiency of leg motion.

Very quickly, take a few short strides, alternating a knee thrust high in the air. You thighs should no longer be parallel to the floor at the top of its motion. Try to land on the balls of your feet softly. Let your abdominal muscles carry your leg down instead of letting gravity send it crashing.

Try doing 2x to 4x with 15 high knees per leg.

Bound-jumping

This exercise improves the strength for the feet, calves and hamstrings. It also improves the stability for an individual to stand on one leg. This is very important when one finds him or herself very tired in the middle of a run. Being stable helps the runner maintain his or her form when tired.

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Bound-jumping is done on flat ground (or ground that is angled a little bit downward). Jump into the air, alternating your legs in a hyper-skip motion. You should emphasize the intensity of your leap as to get a greater height at the peak of your motion. The pacing should be moderately fast. The arms should be synchronized to how the opposite leg is moving, as it remains still for the duration of being in the air.

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Try doing 3x to 4x with 10 jumps per leg.

Grapevining

Grapevining adds flexibility to the hips, legs and butt while loosening up the muscles of the hips and butt. It also adds to the power of lateral movement, which is needed in running properly.

As you stand straight up, keep your head and upper body facing to the front, try moving sideways by putting the leg behind in front of the one in front. Repeat this with the other leg. Try doing this in a smooth cadence as your arms rotate in the opposite direction.

Try doing 2x to 4x for 50 meters, in both directions as you face the same direction for each repetition.

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