Return it to the floor, and repeat on the other side. If you’re new to strength training, start with light dumbbells (3 to 5 pounds) and then graduate to heavier ones (5 to 10 pounds). The two main factors in determining running pace. In a nutshell: Before every run, complete a dynamic warm-up routine (like the Mattock Warm-up) After every run, complete a series of strength exercises for runners … Sit on the edge of a box with feet planted on the ground. Do 10 to 15 reps per set and aim to do two to three sets. I’ve only run a few half marathons, one 42 km marathon and a couple of City to Surfs.Im from Castle Hill in Sydney.I found the 14km City to Surf th e hardest run. I than made an effort to bring my hands up closer to my arm pits, and it’s helped quite a bit! Straighten your elbows until your arms are vertical. They'll help you improve your overall strength as well as engage your core. Early on in my running career I would notice that during 5k races my arms/shoulders would be the first body part to tire! How to do Arm Stretching: Raise your arms above your head with fingers … Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. When working on running technique with endurance athletes, I spend significant time working on getting the runner to keep the arms “active” as I like to term it, across a full range of paces. Here’s a video from the guys at The Run Experience, with a selection of running arm swing exercises. Practice these drills regularly to perfect your upper body action as part of a more efficient running form. I did not understand it at first. Learning how to hold your arms when running can have a huge positive impact both on how relaxed or otherwise your running feels, and your performance. Here’s how to do a basic push-up: Modified push-up: If you’re not ready for a standard push-up, you can start on bent knees. Either of these options will create unwanted tension in the arm. Here’s another great exercise to strengthen your triceps. Make sure you clear the back of your head. Try to keep your upper arms stationary and only move your forearms. Runners’ legs get all the attention. 2. Get into a plank position with your hands planted slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. It was at my local park, as I preferred to jog on grass hills etc..I’ve also swapped HIIT training with yoga and Tai Chi, which i practice daily. We get lazy in an effort to create a false economy – not using our arms properly. Main Points: Perform a variety of movements at each joint. From your videos,, my arm position was pretty bad, and from memory I had a very short stride!To top it off, I’m a slow runner, but I don’t stop, when I run a race, I run the whole way. Arm Stretching is one of the simplest yet very effective arm fat exercises that can help reduce arm fat, if practised regularly. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and abs engaged. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps or as many as you can while maintaining good form. Home » Blog » Running Technique » How to Hold Your Arms While Running. Benefits: Strengthens the arms and shoulders to help you maintain an upright running posture. The Ultimate Cross-Training Workout for Runners Ten exercises to improve strength, running economy, and resilience for the road or trail Runners might think pumping iron in the gym is a … Triceps kickbacks are an excellent exercise for isolating, toning, and strengthening your triceps. 10 Essential Strength Exercises for Runners. As a runner, if you are serious about performing your best and preventing injury, then you need to start doing both general and specific warm-up exercises before your runs, especially before hard workouts … https://www.verywellfit.com/upper-body-exercises-for-runners-2911920 So if you were to run with arms lengthened (excessive elbow extension) past a certain point, this will affect the timing of your swing, and thus your running cadence. Formerly a professional rugby player, James’ route into endurance sports coaching hasn’t exactly been conventional. This … This helps you minimize the forward rounding of your shoulders, which, in turn, creates a better arm swing, improved bloodflow into the arms, and less upper-body fatigue, pain and stiffness. Every point mentioned in the list above is equally true for running as it is for walking. Push down into the chair to straighten your elbows, returning to your starting position. Slowly bend your elbows back to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Put simply, the rhythm we set with our arms directly affects the stride frequency (cadence) and stride length for our legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Using a slow, controlled motion, lower the dumbbells to the start positions. Continue to bend your elbows until they’re at a 90-degree angle. As you become stronger, you can use a heavier dumbbell. The more powerful element of the running arm swing should be focussed on driving the elbow backwards, creating shoulder extension. If you’re all wobbly in your core, you run the risk of over-rotating and wasting energy on your arm swing while you’re running. Your email address will not be published. If you want to learn more about running cadence, and how it affects stride length, check out this post: How to Increase Your Running Cadence. You’ll need a dumbbell for this one. Anyway I’ve been out of training for over 2 years from having a bad fall down some stairs, then got cellulitis on my leg. Keep your neck in a neutral position and abdominals contracted. I do completely understand the thought process when endurance athletes want to conserve energy by keeping arm motion to a minimum. Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. ... MORE: 18 New Running Workouts. Gently reach forward and hold for 30 seconds. Let your arms swing loosely in the direction in which you are running (your arms should not cross the centerline) Keep your hands relaxed … Wrap both hands around the dumbbell handle and hold the dumbbell behind your head. As mentioned in the video, I’m not claiming this is helping my running or will help you get faster. marathon training plan for beginners [PDF], Running Arm Swing For Endurance Athletes « A Triathlete's Life, Move your arms quickly, your cadence increases, Slow your arms down, your cadence decreases, When we make short choppy arm motions, we make shorter steps, Exaggerate your arm swing, you’ll march forwards with long strides, When we’re presented with a hill we usually use our arms more, to drive our legs up the hill. Running with a relaxed arm swing allows for improved balance and rhythm, which encourages proper running form. Maintaining this body line, bend one elbow to row one weight up next to your rib cage. 1. Lastly, the arm exercises provided are examples. Keep your palms facing up. To do it, assume a pushup position with your hands holding dumbbells directly below your shoulders. Then stand up, reach your arms overhead… Bring the arms back in and slowly sit … Slide your butt off the front of the chair and support your weight with your hands. Jump your feet back in, bringing them outside of your hands for a wider base. Many of us have felt first-hand what I’m about to explain, and do the following intuitively with no conscious thought when they walk: The only problem is that while most people display these characteristics when they walk, somewhere along the way these simple facts get lost when training for distance running. Simultaneously move your left arm forward and your right arm back in a runner’s stance. If you put a bat weight on it and move it to the end of the bat, it makes the swing very difficult. Equally, many runners make tight fists as they run, or hold their hands stiff. Use this upper body workout for runners to build your most efficient arm swing for faster, stronger running! Straighten your arms, but keep your elbows slightly bent. Christine Many Luff is a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach. “Working your arms, shoulders and back increases muscle strength and promotes good posture, which improves breathing and arm swing,” says Krista Schultz, exercise … This should help you to avoid shrugging your shoulders as you run. Check out James' marathon training plan for beginners [PDF]. The dumbbell should be directly over your head with your palms facing upwards and the dumbbell hanging vertically from your hands. I discuss this in more detail in the following video: Keep your elbows held at just less than a 90-degree angle to help you maintain a fast cadence. However, when it comes to looking at the body as a whole, understanding how the various different segments of the body need to interact, it’s clear that the arms have an important role to play. The overhead shoulder press will help work your shoulders and triceps. Push the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended. The hands should be flat on the mat, and the elbows should be straight. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Perform exercises … This arm exercise is a more challenging version of the previous Triceps Dip. Shoulder press: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand and raise your arms to rest by your shoulders. You’ll often find that running hills and sprints becomes easier as you strengthen your upper body as well. Prop yourself up on your toes, so you’re balancing on your hands and toes. Excellent advice. While the size of arm movements varies as running pace increases and decreases (in the same way that stride length varies), the key I find is to never let the arms go “passive“. Your knees should remain bent. Slowly raise the dumbbell back up above your head. Slowly press the dumbbell up by extending your arms straight overhead. Push-ups are an excellent upper-body strengthening exercise for runners. As you progress, you can start with basic push-ups for as many as you can complete and then switch to modified push-ups for the remainder of the set. Having trained as a sports rehabilitation therapist, James now works exclusively with distance runners, helping athletes from beginner to pro to run stronger and pain free. Start with dumbbells at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward. Keep your shoulders down and your elbows as close to your ears as possible. ● Sit with the heel of your hands on the edge of a bench with your fingers over the edge. If you found this info useful, you may also want to watch this video about Efficient Running Arm Swing Techniques. Required fields are marked *. By using Verywell Fit, you accept our, flickr Editorial/Getty Images / Getty Images, Blend Images - Erik Isakson / Getty Images, Try This Upper Body Strength and Endurance Challenge with Supersets, 10 Lower Ab Exercises for a Stronger Core, 10 Core Strengthening Exercises for Runners, Back and Biceps Workout for Strength and Muscle, 19 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do At Home for a Quick Workout, Build Strength With This Full Body, Intermediate Workout Progression, Try This 40-Minute Trampoline Workout to Add Some Bounce to Your Day, Work Your Upper Body in a Short and Efficient Workout, 14 Full-Body Exercises With Weights to Burn Fat and Build Muscle, These Exercises Give You the Best Bang for Your Buck, Save Time By Using the Compound Moves in This Upper Body Workout, Go Heels Over Head With a Yoga Inversion Sequence, Pushups Plus Lat Rows Equal One Killer Exercise. Target both upper and lower arms. Fix your arm swing from the ground up! Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Any runner who feels pain and tightness in their shoulders, upper back or neck may be subconsciously elevating their shoulders when running – storing tension. Also, make sure to use a similar arm motion during this exercise as you use while running. Some of these are from Injury Prevention for Runners (learn more about that here) and others are discussed in more detail later in this post. High Knees. Position your feet however you feel most comfortable—either close together or a bit wider apart. To encourage a relaxed, efficient arm swing, try to hold the hand gently closed with the thumb and side of the bent forefinger pressed lightly together. Slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. While maintaining a tight core, exhale as you push yourself back to the start position. Stretch the arms above the head. The longer the pendulum, the slower it will swing. Choose one that you can comfortably lift above your head. Medically reviewed by Richard Fogoros, MD, Verywell Fit uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. 3. I googled ‘marathon training on a treadmill’, because i can no longer fit in what my prior training was. Focus on speed and control. A powerful upper body can help you run with better form, prevent injuries, run more efficiently, and reduce fatigue. Traditional arm exercises like bicep curls and shoulder presses work great for strengthening the upper body— but they usually require some weights to get the best benefit. Sit on the edge of a secured bench or chair, with your knees bent. Keep your back straight and your abs pulled in. These exercises are meant to improve neuromuscular coordination, but they also help develop tri-planar hip stabilization, which is critical for runners. REPEAT to the other side. However after looking at photos I realized my arms where being held very low. The same effect takes place when your arms hang down compared to when they are brought up to a proper angle . Upper body strength is crucial to running strong. Lie face down on a mat and extend your arms forward, palms down, and your legs backward. But if you neglect your upper body, you’re missing out on an opportunity to become a faster, more efficient runner. Try incorporating these upper body exercises into your routine two times a week and you’ll soon start to notice a difference in your running. 4 Multi-Tasking Arm Exercises Try these four multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises from Agresti, Nutting, and Incledon to develop beautifully toned arms and upper body strength. Don’t let your butt sag or stick up at any point. Try to keep your upper arms vertical to the floor throughout the exercise and your elbows shoulder-width apart. Do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the edge of the box, knuckles facing forward, a … Even at slow paces, keep the arms active as a part of the overall movement of running rather than letting them go passive – even if they are only just active! 1. Feel free to substitute with your favorite moves and modalities such as machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, elastic tubing, or body weight suspension trainers. The analogy of a baseball bat really makes sense to me. Your elbows should be pointing forward and be straight but not locked. Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps of each. Runners often ask me to explain the importance of arm swing in their running technique, and seem understandably concerned that any arm movement perceived unnecessary is simply a source of wasted energy and inefficiency. Simultaneously, lift your arms, head, chest, and … Start in a squat with a dumbbell in right hand, arm hanging in front of body, back flat, and core tight (A). However, move that weight in closer to your hands and it nearly disappears! All you need for this exercise is a sturdy chair or bench and space for your legs to extend. Your email address will not be published. Keep your body in the plank position—a straight line from head to toe. Arm swing is an important part of running form, as the arms provide a dampening mechanism for the rotation of the torso as we run. Many people mistakenly focus on driving the hands forwards, when much of the momentum for running is created by the action of the elbow driving backwards, loading the torso and core into extension and rotation, as described in this analysis of Shalane Flanagan’s running form. Bend your elbows in a slow and controlled manner, lowering the dumbbell behind your head. A simple cue to help with this is to think about brushing your bottom ribs with your knuckles as your hand passes back and forth past the side of your body. Repeat for the desired number of reps. Position the heels of your hands shoulder-width apart on the chair, with fingers draping over the front edge of the seat. Most arm exercises without weights are some version of planks or push-ups, which means they also require you to engage your core, so you'll work those muscles at the same time. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. To avoid this, focus on driving the elbow “back and down” with each arm swing, while feeling for a lengthening sensation in the neck. Your body should just clear the chair. The following cues are will help you perfect your running arm swing: Think of your arm as a pendulum, swinging from top-down. https://www.kinetic-revolution.com/running-arm-swing-for-endurance-athletes Single leg pushup… To do this exercise: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, your arms down at your sides, and … With your knees on the floor, lower to the ground the same way as a standard push-up, but you can use your knees, rather than your feet, to help stabilize your body. Runners who hold tension in their shoulders and upper back should find relief with this exercise… His transition into distance running has taught him what his body is capable of, a process which is ongoing! Lower your body into a squat, place your hands on the floor directly in front of you, and jump back into a plank position. Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under the shoulders. If you are an overstrider, then this drill is going to help you reinforce a midfoot landing … Extend your arms and push the weights straight up, pause, and lower slowly down. The chair dip triceps exercise will strengthen your triceps, the muscles that run on the backside of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow. Advanced version: Rather than keeping your knees bent, extend your legs out in front of you, with your heels resting on the floor. Then do 15-20 reps per set and complete two to three sets. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle or less. Continue pushing the ground away from you until your arms are almost in a straight position again (but don’t lock your elbows). ● … John Honerkamp is an RRCA and USATF certified running coach, celebrity marathon pacer, and recognized leader in the New York City running community. 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