We’ve recently spent a lovely Sunday morning with one of our most favourite super people – Tameka Small. We love working out with her whether it’s at Psycle London or with the Nike Training Club. Her energy is infectious and she makes working out fun so when we signed up for our Maple & Fitz team Colour Run, we couldn’t think of a better trainer to help us prepare. Below are Tameka’s 5 key moves for better running and how you can benefit from them.
“To be better at running you need to do more than just run! Strength training is a great way to not only help develop muscular strength and endurance, but also to improve your technique through having a stronger core and running posture. Doing this type of training around 3 times a week (depending on your fitness level and goals) can really compliment your running programme. As well as strength training, stretching and rolling out tight connective tissue can also help recovery and reduce some injuries associated with type of tightness.” – Tameka
1. SQUAT AND REACH
Stand with feet a little wider than hips, toes pointing forward. With weight in heels, sit back into a deep squat. Power up through your heels returning to standing. 15 – 20 reps x 3.
PROGRESSION: You can add a small weights like a bottle of water.
BENEFITS: Brilliant for building strength, in glutes, hips, hamstrings and quads. The addition of the reach activates back, shoulders and core.
2. SKATERS’ LUNGE
Stand with feet apart. Cross your right leg behind your left leg. As you bend leg lower your body down into lunge position, reaching down with your opposite hand to touch inside your left foot. Step or jump to the other side and repeat. 15-20 reps x3.
PROGRESSION: You can take larger and more dynamic lateral jumps and challenge your balance.
BENEFITS: Great for leg strength, especially moving laterally will help strengthen stabilising muscles especially in legs to assist in correct knee alignments and posture for efficient running.
3. REVERSE PLANK
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, placing your hands on the ground just behind your hips. Rotate your hand out, fingers facing the direction of your toes. Slowly lift your hips up off the floor raising your chest up. Keep your gluten tight as you look up to the ceiling, lengthening your arms and spine. 30-60 seconds.
PROGRESSION: You can lift one leg to challenge your core.
BENEFITS: A very effective core exercise strengthening hips, glutes, abs and lower back. It also works on opening your chest, strengthening your running posture.
4. HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
Kneel with one knee bent in front and the other behind on the floor. Slowly lower your hips down, tilting your pelvic, by moving your body forwards and then lifting your chest up, reaching your arms back. 30 -60 second each side.
PROGRESSION: To increase the stretch, reach your arms overhead and back to gain a deeper stretch from hip flexors to chest.
BENEFITS: Helps to open up the hips increasing hip flexibility. This also helps with better range when performing squats and also running posture as tight hips may sometimes cause pelvic tilt and back pain when running.
5. IT BAND ROLLING
Prop yourself up with the foam roller on the outside of your thigh. Support this leg by bending your top leg over in front. On your elbow and supporting hand, use you bent supporting leg to roll your thigh forwards and backwards on the roller. Remember not to spend too long rolling on each area, especially if areas are very extremely painful, 30 up to 60 seconds moving in each area.
PROGRESSION. If you need more intensity, stack both legs on top of each other so both legs are off the ground and the top legs is adding a little pressure to the bottom rolled leg.
BENEFITS: The IT band (iliotibial band) is a long band of connective tissue running down the outside of the thigh crossing the outside of the knee and inserting at the top of the tibia. Its main function is to stabilise the knee during running. Tight IT bands are very common with runners and can be the case of knee injuries.