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5 exercises every runner needs to include in their gym program

There is no doubt that running has amazing physical and mental health benefits, but it does come with its own set of risks that ever personal trainer needs to be aware of.

To start running, your client needs to be fit and strong, otherwise running will do more damage than its worth. If your client is overweight or haven’t been for a run in a while, then running can be quite hard on the body and even cause injury to your back, hips, knees and ankles.

Running can also leave your client with tight muscles, a feeling of weakness and postural issues, which are no good when you’re trying to encourage a fitness regime.

To get past all this and start building a good foundation before tackling a run, here is a list of the five best exercises every runner should include at the gym.

1. Deadlifts

Many runners suffer the same postural issues as office workers, including rounded shoulders, forward head posture, tight and overactive quads and hip flexor. The deadlift exercise is the perfect antidote as it strengthens all the opposing muscle groups along your ‘posterior chain’, which is basically all the muscles that run down the back of your body from head to toe.

2. Squats

Squats done properly are a great mobility and strength movement all in one, and for this reason they should be a staple in everyone’s fitness program. Great for strengthening quads, glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

3. Lunges

Lunges use the same muscles and principles for a good running technique. If you watch someone doing a walking lunge, it’s basically slow motion running through a greater range of motion, requiring extra strength, mobility, and stability. Being able to lunge well with extra weight, with stability and structural integrity through the hips, knees, ankles and feet should be a prerequisite before doing any sort of consistent running training.

4. Crab walks

Doing a goofy walk with a band looped around both ankles seems like easy work, but these can get you feeling the burn in your glutes very quickly. Stronger glutes can help support your lower back, knees, ankles and feet and are essential for running.

5. Farmer’s Walks

Farmers walk is basically just walking with moderate to heavy weights in each hand. This very simple exercise will help to strengthen and stabilise everything involved in the gait pattern which means it will help you to get better at running and increase your capacity for hard work, for longer.

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