I find it interesting when I hear of runners that do not supplement their running with other types of exercises. I suppose it may make sense to them, as running is a full body workout. But as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, most of our bodies have strength deficits/muscle imbalances not just from running, but more so from activities of daily living. Revisiting these blog posts in the runwithgina.com archives; Got Tight Hamstrings, Gym Junkies Beware, Jump Your Way to a Personal Record, and Cross Training Can Improve Run Performance, I have highlighted other ways to supplement your run training, as well as what may hamper your run training.
In the current blog post I want to highlight an awesome supplementary workout to running and why your running can benefit from kettlebells. Kettlebells have been around for centuries, but only more recently have specialized kettlebell gyms popped up, as well as the big box chain gyms having them accessible to gym members. Do you frequent the gym but haven’t seen the kettlebells? They are typically in a corner somewhere with dust accumulating on them. Hopefully after reading this blog post you will understand the benefit of them to supplement your run training and those puppies will be flying off the rack in the gym.
In a 2014 issue of the Strength and Conditioning Journal, researchers did a review of all published evidence-based literature on kettlebells and determined that the muscles targeted in hip-dominant and squat-dominant swings provided muscle activity to muscles that I have seen as frequently weak in the movement screenings of my runners. Here are the highlights of the published information:
I know many runners only run because they only have time to run. Adding other workouts can be a compromise to work/family life balance. But keep in mind, you can get an awesome full-body workout that can compliment your run training in a very time efficient manner. Kettlebells are portable, fairly inexpensive, and a 10-minute routine can do your running wonders.