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Table 1.2 Weight training and resistance exercises for running pre-conditioning Exercise

Preconditioning relevance

Comments/exercise pointers

Leg extension

Stabilises and strengthens the

Suitable for independent left and right leg training for more

knee joint

balanced strength development

Backwards and

Improves agility, lower limb

Can be included as a regular element of a warm-up

sideways running

strength, flexibility and kinesthetic awareness (the awareness of the body in space)

Eccentric calf

Strengthens Achilles tendons

(See panel on following page)

Dynamic standing

Develops specific eccentric

Stand tall and cycle one leg underneath the body in an out-and-

leg cycling

hamstring strength without

back running action. Use a wall to aid balance. Increase speed as

the impact forces associated

confidence develops. The motion of the foot extending in front

with running

of the body and its arrest by the hamstrings is the prime cause


of a hamstring strain (the eccentric contraction). This exercise pre-conditions against this. Eccentric squats

Develops the absorbent

Set up a Smith machine so that it allows the weight to be lowered

strength of the thigh muscles

under control if using a heavy weight. You can perform the exercise

and reduces injury risk

with a lighter weight or even body weight. Lower to a 5-second count.

Single leg squat

Reduces the risk of “runner’s

Stand on one leg and tuck the heel of the other up towards your

knee” and improves balance

bottom. Keeping your knee above your ankle and torso upright, squat down. Keep the heel firmly on the floor and push back up through it. Extend your hips at the top of the movement. Complete reps and perform on other foot.

Leg press

Reduces the risk of “runner’s

Seek expert advice if exercise causes pain

knee” Ankle dorsi-flexion

Reduces potential for

Sit and place an ankle weight around one foot. Keeping your heel


on the ground, pull your toes up to your shins, hold and lower. Complete reps and perform on other foot.


ST for Runners (bloomsbury).indd 7

06/11/2012 17:16

Pre-conditioning training  

An extract from 'Strength Training for Runners'. An ideal resource for motivated runners, from beginner up to higher level, who want to avoi...

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