Tone It Up Thursday

Did you know that cross training and strength training are some of the best things you can do to improve your running? Lots of people think that if they want to become serious runners, all they need to focus on is increasing speed and distance. Though those are good things, what is best is combining speed, strength and cardio on the days that you don’t run.

Wait, I don’t have to run every day???

NO! You don’t. In fact, I don’t recommend doing long, hard runs every day. Usually 3 or 4 times a week are great – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Or Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Whatever days you don’t run on, try doing some of these.

Here are a few simple core exercises you can do in your home or anywhere you might be. By the way, these are GREAT for any stay at home moms or people who “don’t have time” or don’t want to go to the gym.
**While you’re doing all of these exercises, it’s important to remember to keep your belly button pulling down and in towards your spine-keep that tummy flat!

Toe Reaches

Lie on a yoga mat or carpet; press your heels against the wall and have your legs (and back) straight. Reach your left hand up to your right foot and bring your shoulder off the floor. Return to starting position. Do 12 reps on each side.

Windshield Whipers

These can be done either with both legs or one leg at a time. Make sure your back is flat on the ground, heels are pressed up against the wall and legs are straight. Slowly sweep one (or both) leg to the three o’clock position and then return to the starting position. Have your hands at your side for balance if you need!

There are so many great things to do with planks! They’re GREAT for the core. Today we’ll only talk about two of them. First, start in the plan position (figure A in the picture). While holding that position, gently rock back and forth on your toes. Do 12 reps. Second, holding that plank position (figure A) hinge at your hip and bring one knee in towards your shoulder on the inside of your arm (figure B). Switch between right and left leg – these can be done quickly, like a running motion, or slowly. Do 12 reps on each leg.

Wall Bridge

Lying on your back with your butt against the wall, bend your knees and plant your feet 3-4 feet up on the wall (you may need to scoot your feet up or down for your height). Raise your pelvis and lower/middle back off the floor. Keep your shoulder blades on the ground. Hold this position for three deep breaths and then return to starting position, lying on the ground. Do 12 reps. To add difficulty, place one ankle on the opposite knee so you’re balancing on one leg.

Today’s Guest Post – Blair Ellis

Blair is a distance runner from Sacramento, California, where he teaches yoga and pilates for beginners and pregnant women. He loves learning new techniques, making new friends and spending time with his love and family (especially when they run with him!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s