Runners run (duh). Runners don’t always strength train and while we all know we should, not all of us know exactly what we should be doing and why. The why part is maybe a little more obvious to answer. While running strengthens certain muscles, it neglects to activate other muscles leaving us prone to injuries. No one likes injuries, injuries are bad.
The good news is that including strength training into your running regimen doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. One of the ways to really get some bang for your buck and strength muscle imbalances is with single-side training (or staggered stance) exercises. This type of exercise helps to improve both sprinting speed and endurance since it demands more from the neuromuscular system in terms of stability.
Even before becoming certified as a DVRT Instructor, I preached the benefits of using the Ultimate Sandbag workouts for cross training. The total body Ultimate Sandbag workouts are a great example of showing how the USB can be used effectively for single-side/staggered stance training to both strength train in order to prevent injuries as well as use it as a conditioning tool to improve endurance.
I swear I videoed all of these moves with the intention of putting a super cool workout graphic together BUT the quality turned out like crap and it was literally freezing outside so there was no way I was doing it again.
Instead, I have still included a workout graphic as well as a description of each exercise along with links to Ultimate Sandbag’s site with video demonstrations! Maybe one of these days I will get my stuff together and really learn how to record a workout video ?
Like so many of my Ultimate Sandbag workouts, this will take no more than 20 minutes if you go all 5 rounds and use an Ultimate Sandbag load that is appropriate but challenging.
Sprinter Stance Position– Start in a bilateral stance, then slide one foot back so that the toes of the back foot are in line with the heel of the front foot. Elevate the rear heel, making sure that it remains off the ground throughout the entire exercise. This will be our baseline for many of our running Ultimate Sandbag workouts. Don’t start your feet too close together for drills like squatting though!
Sprinter Stance Overhead Press– Get into sprinter stance position and clean the Ultimate Sandbag to top of the fist. Press Ultimate Sandbag so that it goes straight over the crown of the head.
Sprinter Stance Deadlift– Get into sprinter stance position hip hinge so that you sit the hips back making sure to load the hamstrings and glute- DO NOT squat! Lift Ultimate Sandbag up bringing it to hip height then back down again.
Lateral Bag Drag – Get into plank position with the Ultimate Sandbag directly underneath and to the side of you. Drag the Ultimate Sandbag slowly (3-5 count) using the outside handles to the other side of your body. Repeat going to the opposite side.
Sprinter Bent Over Row– Get into sprinter stance position then bend over into a hip hinge position. Using the USB parallel handles, row the Ultimate Sandbag up pulling it in toward the body and squeezing the shoulder blades. Movement should be slow and controlled, ensuring that no shoulder shrugging occurs.
Sprinter Stance Squat– Get into sprinter stance position and power clean the sandbag into a front load fists position. Squat straight down then come back up. Try to keep your trunk straight and avoid leaning forward with the Ultimate Sandbag.
So there you have it, five exercises for that show how Ultimate Sandbag workouts will help to strength imbalances and weaknesses that running alone does not address. These Ultimate Sandbag workouts target under utilized muscles from head to toe, challenging stability leading to increased strength and better endurance. These exercises will not just make you a better, faster runner but will also help to prevent injuries in the long run! ?