Is jogging in your neighborhood park enough for overall fitness? Are the treadmill and the elliptical the only machines you need to use to get fit? The answer is No. Strength training has to be inculcated as a part of your fitness routine. It will make you faster, stronger, and safer.
When the only fitness in your mind is running then you slip into that mindset and fail to try out other useful techniques. The problem with this is that you get over trained and increase the likelihood of injuries. Therefore no matter how much you love jogging or running on the treadmill it has to be complemented with strength training. It means that you might have to dial down on the time you spend on the treadmill, but it is only for the larger good.
Here are some reasons why you need to complement running with strength training: –
Yes, you will be faster
It is a common belief that as you lift weights you bulk up and lose pace, au contraire as you lift heavy, you will pick up pace as well. The reason behind this is that as you lift weights it improves the coordination between muscles and nervous system, thus making the body more efficient. But remember not to lift like a weightlifter, choose light weights with proper form.
Have you seen lean guys who run stopping? This is because following the same routine shortens the hip flexors giving them a crouched demeanor. Exercises like lat pull downs improve the body posture, while a strong core gives you the strength to stand up straight even if you are tired. The advice for the runner is to strengthen the back and stretch the front.
Lesser injury risks
Only running can increase the strength of certain muscle groups but renders others like core and glutes weak. Hence a combination along with strength training is the solution. Exercises such as squats and deadlifts strengthen the glutes and prevent common injuries to runners. Runners-only exercises such as single leg glute bridges have a positive impact on the core and stretch the hip flexors.
Better overall fitness
Unless you are in a gym on a treadmill, running can be seasonal, a bad weather and you skip your day. If you are injured you don’t run. However you can hit the gym anytime you want, and in case you are injured, you can alter your training plan accordingly. The improved strength can be utilized in day to day life.
Running can be fun and healthy but it will become monotonous after a few weeks or months. By starting strength training you will be able to mix things up, be more informed, and stay motivated about your health and fitness.