As runners, we all know that our success is based in so much more than logging miles. We rely on our strength, our core, and our upper body to cover our distances.
However, we also all know that there are moves that are just no fun (or worse, make us cringe). Today, I’m sharing my least favorite strength moves, and the ways I get around them.
Benefits – So many people love pushups, but I’m not one of them. Pushups rely on upper body and core strength, and do solid work on the pectorals, shoulders and triceps.
Why I Hate Them – At the moment, my core is just slightly lacking and I have a hard time balancing on my right foot (specifically my toes).While I can lower myself to the ground, and push back up, the resulting discomfort in my foot isn’t worth it.
What Can You Do Instead: Dropping to your knees or doing pushups against a wall are both solid alternatives to an awful (but productive) strength move. There’s no shame in that game.
Benefits – And while we’re at it, let’s include donkey kicks, inchworms, crab walks, and gorilla jumps. Bear crawls, however, lead to strength and endurance in the shoulders and upper body. They also promote good balance and core strength.
Why I Hate Them – I have freakishly long legs, making any of the “animal” moves a little more challenging. “Walking” on my hands and feet like this puts me almost upside down, which is super uncomfortable, especially on my wrists and sinuses.
What Can You Do Instead: Any variation of mountain climbers are a great alternative to the less desirable bear crawl.
Benefits – I was so proud when I finally conquered box jumps at 9Round early last year. Box jumps are fabulous for lower body strength. They promote power and spring, and, if we’re being honest, make you feel like a badass.
Why I Hate Them – I think it’s natural to hate what we cannot accomplish. Since breaking my leg, the idea of jumping is nothing short of terrifying, so I’m no longer a fan of this critical, runner-friendly move.
What Can You Do Instead: Step ups are a great substitute for box jumps. While they lack the intensity, stepping up, one foot at a time, engages similar muscles for similar results. It doesn’t feel as good, but it gets the job done.
Benefits – Once again, we have a move that is brilliant for the core and trunk strength. It also promotes strength in the obliques and hip flexors, which are key for running.
Why I Hate Them = Truth be told, my right hip flexor is regularly angry, and V-Ups really grind on my tailbone. Even using a mat and a towel leaves me hurting on the backside and achy in my hip, so I tend to avoid them when I I can.
What Can You Do Instead? If V-ups prove too intense, lean back and do a similar move on your elbows. You can also balance in a boat pose, or lay on your back, turn your knees to either side and do oblique crunches. This will help alleviate pressure on the tailbone and still work similar areas.
Benefits – Planks are amazing because they strengthen your core and your spine. They help you mantain good posture, which leads to optimal alignment. Planks are amazing and should be part of any solid workout routine.
Why I Hate Them – Despite their benefits, planks require a level of upper body strength that I have never attained. Much like pushups, I struggle with supporting my body weight on my elbows or on my hands. And my core does not love them.
What Can You Do Instead? – Once again, drop to your knees. You can also mix it up, with high planks, low planks, or side planks. Mountain climbers and bird dogs are also based on the form of the plank, so if you aren’t ready to hold the pose, you can replicate the
What strength training moves do you love to hate?
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