4 exercises that improve your running ability - KMSP-TV

4 exercises that improve your running ability

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The weather is improving and more of us are wanting to get out and walk or run.

Fox 9 fitness expert Ali Holman from CoreCamper.com shows us exercises we can do prior to running to improve your performance.

To find out more about Ali's online daily workouts, visit www.CoreCamper.com

These drills can serve as a dynamic warmup routine after a 10-minute easy jog before your regularly scheduled run or workout, or they can be completed after a run to reinstate the notion of running with good form while fatigued.

Try to do these drills three to four times per week.

Butt Kicks

Why: Butt kicks engage the hamstrings and accentuate the recovery portion of the running gait

How: Run in place with your thighs locked in a neutral position and try to kick yourself in the glute with your heel on each stride. Focus on keeping the rest of your body still and simply flicking your lower leg backward.

Bounding

Why: Bounding increases foot, calf and hamstring muscle power and develops single-leg stance stability necessary to maintain fluid running form while fatigued.

How: On a flat slope, alternate thrusting into the air off one leg in an exaggerated skipping motion. The focus should be on a powerful leap into the air and a quick (but not super fast) cadence. Your arm motion should be synced to the opposite leg's action, holding steady for the brief moment while you're off the ground. Do three to four reps of 10 leaps on each leg.

Hamstring Extensions

Why: This drill increases mobility of the hamstring and gluteal muscle groups and enhances forward hip extension necessary for running fast with efficient form.

How: With an upright posture and straight legs, alternately flick one leg forward while reaching with the opposite hand to lightly tap the extended foot. Focus on form, not speed. Do two to four reps of 10 extensions on each leg.

Running Backwards

Why: Running backwards helps strengthen the glutes and upper hamstrings, as well as various core muscles in the abs and lower back.

How: Although it will seem awkward at first, try to replicate your forward running motion while moving backward. You'll still be pushing off of your forefoot and swinging you arms, but you'll be lunging backward with your hamstrings and using core muscles to stabilize differently than you're used to while moving forward. Focus on form, not on speed. Do two or four reps of 50 to 100 meters.

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