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Secret to Increasing Your Running Strength


DVRT Master, Annmarie Licatese (FitFoodieMama)

The freshly laid turf was calling my name and wanted me to come play yesterday so I decided to break in the studio with an unofficial solo workout.  

You might assume that since the studio is focused on offering strength training programs to runners that my workout consisted of a bunch of lower body exercises but that was not the case.  In fact, it was upper body focused which is more important for running than you may think. 

While we all know that squats, deadlifts and single leg work are vital to improving speed and preventing injuries, we tend to neglect the upper body which can be detrimental to form and performance.  

But how can your arms and upper body help you run faster, you ask? Well, it simple. Stronger arms along with a stronger core and torso create a stable foundation which improves running form.  

Here’s the thing though- just jumping on a machine at the gym and doing chest presses isn’t really going to get you anywhere.  In order to really improve your running form, you need to be specific about the exercises that you choose so that they help to strength imbalances that may exist which leads me to the upper body exercises below.  Not only are they functional but they allow you to multi-task so you can get more work done, quicker, leaving more time for all the miles you need to run. 


Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Overhead Press.  The beauty of the rotational overhead press with the Ultimate Sandbag is that practices transferring momentum from your legs to your upper body strengthening your hips, core and shoulders to improve posture and performance.   Incorporate it into your routine by performing 6-8 reps per side. 


Ultimate Sandbag Training Off-set Bent-Over Row. This is another exercise that is all about multi-tasking.  Bent-over rows challenge the core stability and works to strengthen the muscles in the upper back which translate to powerful arms when running.  By performing the Offset Bent-Over Row with the Ultimate Sandbag, you work to strengthen each side unilaterally.  Incorporate into your training by performing 8-10 reps per side. 


Ultimate Sandbag Training Off-set Loaded Carry. Loaded carries are an awesome functional exercise that not only help to develop strength but also improve conditioning and core strength which we all know is KEY to stronger running.  By performing the loaded carry in an offset nature (meaning that you carry two Ultimate Sandbags of different weights) you work to keep your torso in an upright position even as you begin to feel tired and fatigued.  See why that might be beneficial? We all know how common fatigue is especially in the last few miles of a long run or race and keeping your upper body upright is key to finishing strong! Incorporate it into your training by performing it for 45 seconds to a 1 minute.  Be sure to switch weights to each side! 


Don’t Miss Annmarie’s Upcoming DVRT Workshop HERE