Thursday, December 8, 2011

Five Favorites for Getting Stronger

There are some runners out there who think they can skimp on strength training because of the number of miles they log every week. I'm definitely not one of those runners.

In general, I don't use weight machines because I feel I get a better total body workout by using free weights or body weight in combination with a stability ball and/or BOSU. Although I like switching up my routine on a regular basis to prevent boredom, here are a few of my all-time favorite exercises:

Plank row with dumbbells (3 sets of 10 reps each side)
With an 8-10 pound dumbbell in each hand, get into plank position. While holding the plank, do one-arm rows on alternating sides. For an extra challenge, I like adding a push up between each row.

One leg squat on BOSU (3 sets of 10 reps each side)
Position the BOSU so its flat side is facing up and carefully stand on top. Once balanced, proceed with the one leg squats.

Plank on stability ball (3 sets, 30 rotations each)
Using the stability ball, get in plank position, resting your forearms on the ball with your toes on the floor. Once in position, rotate the ball with your forearms in 30 small circles to either the left or right.

Jackknife to push up on stability ball (3 sets, 12 reps each)
Position yourself in plank position so the stability ball is beneath your feet and your hands are on the ground. Bend at the knees and pull them in toward your chest then extend back again, finishing with a push up.

BOSU hinge lunges (3 sets, 10 reps each side)
Position the BOSU so the rounded side is facing up. Place one foot on top of the BOSU and step the other leg back into a lunge. At this point, the BOSU should be in front of you. While keeping the same foot on top of the BOSU, push out of the reverse lunge and into a forward lunge. The BOSU should now be behind you. Each forward and back counts as one rep.

Time to share: What are your favorite exercises to get stronger?

- ST

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