All the miles of coaching help to strengthen the lower body, namely the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
But it runs enough construct leg muscle? What if you desire to trade a leg day on the gym for a run? Will your legs still be strong? To discover, we spoke to Mindy Solkin, USATF Level 2 certified running coach and founder Running Center.
How does running compare to resistance training?
While running strengthens your muscles, it is not necessarily one of the best ways construct leg muscle. Traditional resistance exercises comparable to squats, deadlifts, toe raises, and glute bridges are generally simpler, especially should you use dumbbells or other weights. That’s because running only uses your body weight, and the added weight of lifting weights helps you set more strain in your muscles – which stimulates muscle protein synthesis, the means of muscle growth.
Since running is one repetitive movement that you just do over and another time, it will possibly also cause unbalanced strength where some muscles work extra time and others don’t. For this reason, Solkin says you must balance your running workouts with strength exercises that work opposing muscle groups so you’ll be able to train all of your leg muscles.
“It’s essential to strengthen opposing muscles in synergy,” he explains. “While doing calf raises for the gastrocnemius, the runner must also do exercises for the anterior tibialis (front of the lower leg) to create a more balanced force on the lower leg and forestall injury.”
Will running alone make your legs stronger?
If you are wondering if just running will make you strong enough, Solkin says the reply will depend on your goal. In other words, strong enough for What? Strong enough to run a marathon? Strong enough to squat 100 kilos? Strong enough to perform each day activities safely?
Also know that the leg strength you construct by running will depend on variables comparable to the terrain you run on, length and frequency of runs, speed and weight. “A one that runs slowly on flat ground thrice every week is not going to have as much strength of their legs as someone who runs up hills at a quick pace six times every week,” explains Solkin.
The kind of running training you do may also affect whether your training will primarily increase muscular endurance or strength/power. “A marathon runner who runs for hours has an endurance that’s the results of force multiplied by time,” notes Solkin. “A sprinter who only runs for just a few seconds produces power, which is the power to immediately produce maximum muscle contraction in an explosive series of movements.”
However, regardless of what kind of running you do, strength training will assist you to have it a stronger step and might help prevent injuries and improve performance. Your strength training doesn’t need to be particularly intense. For example, Solkin created conditioning™, a strength and conditioning program for runners. “Many exercises are performed while standing on a balance board on one leg while the opposite leg rocks forwards and backwards, mimicking the movement of running. I call it “running on one leg,” which leads to balance, stability, and strength on each leg, independently of each other.
One other thing: while runners put quite a lot of emphasis on leg strength, you should not neglect the remainder of your body either. “Remember that while your legs and core muscles do a lot of the work, it is vital to strengthen your arms as well,” says Solkin. “Having strong arms will assist you to stay in shape and may also assist you to run hills more efficiently by taking the strain off your legs.”