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Core Exercises for Running/Runners (Read 3390 times)

     

    I think snatches/deadlifts/heavy squats are just fine but we are talking about a fraction of individuals who will be doing them at proper form so I don't even introduce it.

    Minor threadjack. This is interesting. I can understand the snatches being difficult. But why don't more trainers teach squats and deadlifts? Is it just liability? I go to a Y and I'm horrified by what I see the staff trainers teach people. Squats with the big pad on the bar of a Smith machine. Never teach deadlifts. I guess I'm OK with it b/c the squat rack is always free but it amazes me so few trainers will teach the basic movements to clients.

     


    Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

      I know I've been asking a lot of questions lately, but I'm kind of adjusting my approach in hopes of better future results:

       

      My question today ---- Do any of you other RA'ers do CORE workouts and if so what types of exercises and frequency???

       

      Should runners be doing CORE exercise???

       

      I do a lot of pushups, squats, deadlifts, etc.

       

      I don't do a ton of situps as I don't find them all that particularly helpful, although I've done a ton in the past.  I'd rather do a weight bearing exercise where I need to utilize my core to hold myself steady.  If I do do something like situps or crunches, then I usually do them on a swiss ball (with or without legs elevated) to add to the challenge.

       

      I'm thinking once I finish my current 7 week program of pushups (this is the last week) I'm going to implement the exercises that Greg suggested in his clinic for building strength and warding off injury - I've got the DVD put together (not for sale yet) but you can watch the entire coaching session online for free: http://www.runtowin.com/freesessions/

      Run to Win
      24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



        Minor threadjack. This is interesting. I can understand the snatches being difficult. But why don't more trainers teach squats and deadlifts? Is it just liability? I go to a Y and I'm horrified by what I see the staff trainers teach people. Squats with the big pad on the bar of a Smith machine. Never teach deadlifts. I guess I'm OK with it b/c the squat rack is always free but it amazes me so few trainers will teach the basic movements to clients.

         

        George,

        I should clarify, the deadlifts and snatches I would not do with clients unless of course they had experience and power/strength was a goal. I did work with competitive powerlifters. One of my favorite exercises is the Romanian Deadlift. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzVtUmCK1Shy&feature=related You need to have a flat, tucked in low back. It is a phenomenal exercise for the hammys/butt, low back but it was almost impossible to get clients to do it right to lock in the hammys. Squats are awesome and I do recommend them with on a Swiss Ball against the wall with dumbbells or body weight. In time I would try to get people over to the bar, but most cannot get their butt back and sit. The first movement is usually knees forward rather than butt back. The hammys/hips and calves are usually too tight to allow proper form.

         

        We can go to the Smith Machine and have them put the feet forward and lean into the bar. This was a solution I used. I preferred the Smith Machine for lunges with back foot on a bench. Now that is a potent exercise. I was always more of a fan of walking lunges and variations for all clients including runners because it is somewhat similar to the running motion. Specificity is key!!!

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          Since I have never done any weight lifting I hope you won't mind a few questions whose answers may be obvious to everyone else:

           

          1)George, what is wrong with doing squats using a Smith machine with a padded bar?

          2) Would it be better to hold the bar in front of your neck instead of behind to keep the back straight?

          3) Is it a strain on the knees to do deep squats, or is the full range of motion to be preferred? (I had knee trouble in high school, possibly from doing "frog jumps" as part of PT class.)

          4) Would holding a barbell across the shoulders and twisting from side to side be helpful to strengthen stabilizing muscles in the trunk? Does anyone do this?

           

          Any other suggestions?

          Thanks!

          PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                              10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

           

             

            Together or in sets? And did it change how your upper chest and shoulders looked?

             

             

            I could do 85 at once, not in sets (though I'll be the first to admit that the form on those towards the end was definitely not good).  I definitely started to see more definition in my upper chest and even my arms.  But as I said, it did get boring.  I wish I had someone to do it with, at least we could push each other, but just doing pushups every other night by myself wore down on me and I stopped.

             

            Maybe I'll get back into it.  I am probably back to being able to do 25 or so again right now.


            i sacrificed the gift

              I am not George, but we are in the same cult.

               

               

              Machines force motion into a single plane, this typically isolates work to a single muscle or group of muscles.  In a case where we are trying to build total body strength, and especially the stabilizing muscles in the trunk of the body, this is not what we want.

               

              A smith machine squat primarily works the quadriceps.  Since the bar does not travel forward (and the body does not bend at the hips), there is little glute-ham activation, and the abdominal muscles do not have to work to stabilize the weight.  It is a good exercise for those who have the specific need to strengthen the quadriceps without strengthening the glute-ham, but it is a bad exercise for building real strength, and certainly does not work very well to strengthen the core.

               

              The padding, I'm not sure if it's actually bad.  With proper squat form, it is unnecessary though.

               

               

              Front squats (racking the bar on the clavicles) are a step above smith machine squats. Due to keeping the body from bending at the hips, there is still little posterior chain activation.  These are primarily used as assistance lifts for olympic lifters (who's competition lifts include a front squat as part of them), and advanced bodybuilders aiming to specifically target the quadriceps.

               

              It is not a strain on the knees to do deep squats, with proper form.  It is a strain on the lumbar region of the spine to do partial squats, not reaching parallel.  Full range of motion may not be necessary for building strength, but going slightly past parallel certainly is.

               

              As far as #4 I have never heard of that exercise, but I'm not sure if holding a barbell on the shoulders is going to increase the load on the obliques for rotational exercises very much, if at all.

               

               

               

               

               

              The thing about squat (low-bar back squat) form, is it is self correcting.  Once someone learns the basics, the low bar rack position, not to let their knees pass over their toes, to look down, to sit into it, to go past parallel, and to drive with the hips; their form will improve as they lift more weight.  It basically has to.  The only cardinal sin that will allow you to lift more weight while worsening your form is not hitting parallel.

               

              Deadlift form is not so self-correcting, but it is extremely easy to learn.  A lot of americans have extremely shortened hamstrings, which causes this lift to be a little more difficult than it should be, but with a little observation anyone can do it.

               

               

              As far as snatches, I think teaching a runner to snatch would be a waste of a lot of time.  No matter what a crossfit trainer says, It takes years to learn how to do this lift right.

               

              I do however, like the one-arm dumbbell power snatch, which has much less requirements of technical mastery than the olympic barbell snatch.  Additionally, the dumbbell power snatch can be a great conditioning workout.

               

               

              Robot House Recovery Drink Protocol:
              Under 70 Degrees: Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
              Over 70 Degrees: Dougfish Head 60 Minute IPA


              HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                 

                 

                I could do 85 at once, not in sets (though I'll be the first to admit that the form on those towards the end was definitely not good).  I definitely started to see more definition in my upper chest and even my arms.  But as I said, it did get boring.  I wish I had someone to do it with, at least we could push each other, but just doing pushups every other night by myself wore down on me and I stopped.

                 

                Maybe I'll get back into it.  I am probably back to being able to do 25 or so again right now.

                 It was nice having the group. I didn't bother with the chart stuff, but I liked it when we had the group. Then I slacked off.

                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                  I am not George, but we are in the same cult.

                   

                   

                   heh, this made me laugh.

                   

                  Agree with R-H on all counts. as far as the pad goes, it moves the bar away from your body and changes your back angle to keep the weight balanced. Not as much of a problem on a Smith Machine since no balance is involved. But people free squatting should never use it. Placed in the right spot, the bar should never hurt.

                   

                  For #2, your back does not have to be "straight".  Rather, it needs to be "flat". A lot of people confuse back angle (how much you're bending over) with keeping the back in extension (low back not rounding, aka "flat"). Back angle is determined by bar placement. The lower the bar on your back, the steeper the angle, the more horizontal you have to be to keep the bar balanced over your COG. But your back is not more susceptible to injury at a steeper angle as long as your lower back is in extension. But the lower you have it, the more you can use your adducters and hamstrings, the"hip drive" you have.

                   

                  MTA: Re-read your post Simon and had some other thoughts. it being Friday and all...

                   


                  3) Is it a strain on the knees to do deep squats, or is the full range of motion to be preferred? (I had knee trouble in high school, possibly from doing "frog jumps" as part of PT class.)

                  4) Would holding a barbell across the shoulders and twisting from side to side be helpful to strengthen stabilizing muscles in the trunk? Does anyone do this?

                   

                  Any other suggestions?

                  Thanks!

                   

                  3. R-H is correct that poor form is more problematic for the knees. When you only partially squat all the sheering force is on your knees. When you squat below parallel, the sheer force is on your hammies and adducters. You "bounce" off your hamstrings at the bottom and drive up with the hips. Not necessary to go ass-to-grass but past parallel is better for your knees that a partial squat. And Tchuck mentioned a lot of the things people do wrong when squatting. Knees forward is the biggie. What fixed that for me is thinking, "knees out". The movement down starts with knees out - not forward. If you start with just sitting back, your knees will slide forward at the bottom. They'll have to or you'll fall on your ass. So, knees out first, hips/butt back. It happens almost simultaneously but the knees have to move first. If not, they'll have to slide forward at the bottom and that's bad.

                   

                  When I finally figured this out I was amazed at how sore my adducters and hammies were. That's when I knew I figured it out.

                   

                  4.  Google "Wood chops" if you want to incorporate a twisting type abdominal exercise. I see lots of people at the Y doing twists with the broomstick on their shoulders. I don't have the time to waste.

                   

                  As far as any other suggestions, buy the book, "Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training" by Mark Rippetoe. R-H is right that it's a cult but it's the single best book on the basic barbell lifts. Best $25-$30 you'll ever spend.And read the article I linked in my first post in this thread. It discusses "core" training.

                   

                   

                    I don't do any core work at all nor any weights nor circuits nor plyometrics. Every hour in the gym/studio is an hour of running wasted.


                    Are we there yet?

                      V-ups.. nuff said
                        Thanks for your responses, guys, I followed the links and got the info.

                        PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                            10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                         


                        Misplaced runner...

                          Glad to see some strength training sense creeping into the forum here, though 98% of the forum residents will probably never seriously forage into this area.  I second, highly, the Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe) book as well as the 2nd edition of Practical Programming for Strength Training, by the same author, recommended above.  Unless you are very weak, there is no reason to start learning squats using broomsticks, PVC, and especially the swiss ball.  An unloaded Olympic bar (20kg men/15 kg women) is standard learning weight and is also used as the first weight to warm up the movement by many proficient squatters.  Get your low bar back squat and deadlift up to, at least, 1.5x BW and you won't have to worry too much about "core" exercises as this will take care of itself along the way.  You don't squat 300-400# for sets across with weak trunk muscles.

                           

                          Also, placement of the bar for front squats, properly, is not on the clavicles.  This leads to bruising and pain.  The bar should be cleaned up on to the front deltoids, while kept stabilized by the fingertips and upper arms nearly or parallel to the floor with elbows up and forward.

                           

                          I agree that the snatch is probably a bit outside of the primary concern for most runners, but I would recommend power cleans as a start/introduction to the fast lifts and for power generation.  For the sprinters, short distance folks, or high hill runners, power generation is paramount and this is a good way to develop it as well as learning a good lift.  The olympic lifts are quite fun to play with once you've learned some of the fundamental aspects of them.  If you can learn to snatch near your body weight, you'll have little to no trouble maintaining upper body posture and strength in your next marathon or ultra.  I wouldn't say it takes years to learn; maybe years to get proficient enough to be competitive, but several dedicated months is not out of the norm.

                           

                          Deadlift, well, those are just plain fun.  They are very taxing on the CNS though once you get to heavy loads (>1.5x BW).  Do well with this and you may actually look forward to moving all of that rock for your retaining wall.

                          PR/Goal:  Mile - 6:02/sub 6, 5k - 21:15/sub 20, 10k - 41:20/sub 40, 1/2 'thon - 1:37/sub 1:30, marathon - 3:41/sub 3:30, 50k - 4:26/sub 4:15, 50 mile - 8:48/sub 8:30.


                          Go Pre!


                            I agree that the snatch is probably a bit outside of the primary concern for most runners,

                             

                            Not for me...I am all about the snatch.


                            Consistently Slow

                              Day 17 out of18 of core exercises.  Started with 13 lb dumbbells. Now up to 20 lbs and 3 sets of 10 with 0:30-1 minute rest. Will not go to a fitness center even if it were next door to my house. Trying to avoid tennis elbow. Workouts between 15-40 minutes,if  I am doing weights or pilates or both.

                              Run until the trail runs out.

                              2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                              50miler 13:26:18

                              Race Less Train More

                               

                              Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                              "The Marble in The Groove"

                               

                              unsolicited chatter

                              http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                                I have not had any injury since I added a bit of strength work to my running.  When my running schedule is lighter I try to do a couple of workouts a week, although I admit that whenever I feel tired, this is the first thing to go out the window.

                                 

                                Recently the gym coach suggested this routine as an endurance workout:

                                • dumbbell half squats
                                • seated row
                                • dumbbell rear lunges combined with a shoulder front raise
                                • calf raises with dumbbell
                                • bird dog
                                • stability ball leg curl
                                • side plank

                                The way it works is to do as many repetitions you can in a 1-minute interval without sacrificing form, then move on as quickly as possible to the next exercise.  Then repeat the cycle for a total of 2 to 4 sets.  The high number of reps makes this more of an endurance than pure strength workout.

                                 

                                These days doing this once a week is plenty good enough.

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