I’m not looking to throw workouts under the bus here, as they all have their place, but all workouts and exercises and aren’t created equal. Basketball players should strengthen one way, football players another, and runners yet another. You get the jist. Endurance athletes, particularly runners, have little use for ballistic, high power strength programs. Cross fit, for example, exposes a runner to quick movements and high velocity, high resistance programs that mimic an exercise program for a cage fighter. So unless you’re avoiding punches or round house kicks during your runs you should seriously consider seeking another alternative to getting stronger. (if you are avoiding kicks and punches I suggest running somewhere else, too).
Basketball players should strengthen one way, football players another, and runners yet another.
Functional strength is based on building muscles, mobility, and balance that mimic the function, in this case running. It makes sense, right? If your muscles function a certain way, say at push off, you would want to train that movement to prevent injury and more importantly (to most) increase speed.
However, we found a growing amount of the community being misguided… going off trail if you will (couldn’t wait to use that pun). If you haven’t heard, runners are a driven and competitive group. We hear something is hard or difficult and we have this “Oh yeah?” mentality. We hear that ‘xyz’ workout was a combination of exhilarating pain and extreme soreness and, somehow, that will translate into faster running or better overall conditioning. Remember, there’s a reason why the muscle heads at the gym don’t win races, being strong doesn’t not equate to speed, efficiency, or durability.
Muscles Function Together
The video to the left is a quick overview of pronation control and the chains of muscle groups that control it (hips to knee). Remember, muscles fire as chains and groups in function, not in isolation. Our private section of our website has more information on exercises and workouts to control this motion.