*Hey guys – As of tomorrow I am 6 weeks/42 days out from my fall and the ensuing broken ankle. I am still not cleared for any lower body lifting, rowing, walking for exercise, and for sure not running. So, I am keeping myself sane by hitting the gym for upper body and core workouts. I am not an expert on lifting so I recruited one to help explain some great moves you can do if you’re in my situation and need upper body work, or just because strength work is great for runners (I usually do 2 weight/strength days even when I am healthy). Check out this fabulous Shoulder Stabilizing Workout for Runners!
Hi! I’m Laura and I blog over at Sprint 2 the Table. The name of my blog was inspired by my love of food, and the fact that I used to be a pretty fast runner. Two torn ACLs later… well, let’s just say I’ve had this blog too long to change it’s name! I still do like to run for fun, but the focus of my blog now is lifting and (mostly) healthy recipes. Stop by if you’re feeling hungry for a pre-workout Samoa Protein Ball, or if you’re curious about how Macros work and want a free calculator.
As a sometimes runner, I know a common problem people have is tension in the upper back and shoulders. One of the best ways I’ve found to mitigate that is to strengthen the rhomboids, trapezius, and deltoid muscles. These muscles control and stabilize the upper back and shoulders, which improves your form and alleviates tension. Make sense?
Psssst…. The best part about this short workout is that each exercise can all be done at home with a set of free weights!
Front Raise Clockwise Circles
Front Raise Counterclockwise Circles
1. Military Presses – 4 sets, 12 reps
I like to do these on a stability ball to further engage my core (also great for runners!). Sit on the ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms so that your elbows are bent at a 90° angle, in line with your shoulders. Raise your arms overhead, without straightening them and without locking your elbows at the top. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. You can also do these standing.
Tip: Be sure to keep your core tight throughout the exercise.
2. Lateral Raises – 4 sets, 12 reps
This one is simple: simultaneously lift your arms out to the side until they are parallel to the floor. Be sure to keep your core tight and don’t lock your elbows.
Tip: For an additional challenge, pause at the top turning your hands (making a pouring motion) so that your thumbs point toward the floor.
3. Front Raises – 4 sets, 12 reps
Lift your arms in front of your body until your hands are even with your shoulders. Pause for a moment at the top then slowly lower your arm back to the starting position.
Again, keep your core tight and don’t lock your elbows!
4. Push-Ups – 4 sets, 15 reps
Push-ups are self-explanatory. I’d just caution you to make sure you’re keeping your body straight and lowering your chest to the ground. If you’re struggling, there’s no shame in putting your knees down! Just make sure to push yourself. Maybe you can do the first 5 of each set without your knees and work your way up to 15?
5. Front Raise Clockwise Circles – 3 sets of 25 reps
With a light weight in each hand, lift your arms in front of your body until your hands are even with your shoulders. Make small, clockwise circles without locking your elbows and keeping your core engaged (are you seeing a theme?).
Superset these with….
6. Front Raise Counter-Clockwise Circles – 3 sets of 25 reps
Same thing, in reverse.
Psssst… this is going to burn.
I hope you enjoy these workouts, and that you’ll stop by Sprint 2 the Table to say hi!