Whether you have rediscovered your love for running during these difficult past few months, or have been running for a number of years, it is just as important to stay fit and keep your body great shape. How can you achieve this? The right pair of shoes? Warming up properly? Strength training? Utilising a resistance band? A mixture of all of these factors is a great start.
Warming up and stretching correctly is an excellent way to improve your muscular health, especially when you want to prevent running injuries. Stretching enhances your flexibility and reduces tension in your muscles and fascia after training.
We’ve teamed up with the experts over at Meglio to discuss resistance bands and resistance loops to aid your muscle activation and recovery.
What are resistance bands?
Resistance bands are a super adaptable, inexpensive piece of equipment, which can be used for muscle activation, muscle recovery and adding strength to your body. Combining resistance bands and resistance loops within your running routine is an easy and quick way to speed up your recovery and help prevent injuries.
What are the benefits of using resistance bands?
- Reduces lactic acid – When you work out, your muscles get stressed and at that moment, your body produces lactic acid; in turn making your muscles tired and sore. Stretching helps you to release the lactic acid and therefore speeds up your recovery and relieves the pain.
- Boost your energy – When your body cools down after running, the brain releases endorphins which makes you feel happy and relaxed. Performing a thorough cool down routine will help your muscles to recover faster, and you will feel more energised.
- Prevents injury – While stretching, you increase your ROM (range of motion) and flexibility. Tension in your muscles and fascia are released and you will feel more secure and stable in your movements.
What are the best resistance band exercises?
There are hundreds of resistance band workouts for runners online. Here are a few great examples to get you started.
Monster Walks with a Resistance Loop
Target: Glute activation
What it does: Perfect for glute activation, this exercise is designed to activate the muscles in your hips and glutes. The hip extensors and abductors play a majorly important role in building your stability and posture; very important for running.
How to: Place a resistance loop around your ankles, calves or thighs, bend your knees slightly and sink into a squat position. Your feet should be hip width apart. Take big (Monster) steps making sure that you try and keep your knees above your feet to work on knee tracking and glute activation. Walk forward with a diagonal step and then step back to where you started. You will soon feel the burn after a few sets of these!
For: Perform until you feel your glutes burning, rest and then go again. Aim to complete 3-4 sets.
Standing Hip Extension with a Resistance Loop
Target: Glutes and hamstrings
What it does: This exercise really targets your hip extensors which are critical for running.
How to: Place the resistance loop around your ankles and stand tall. While keeping your left leg straight