Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leg Work

Some of you asked what kind of leg work I've been doing, and I thought this post might be helpful.
I used to do the "old school" leg exercises before I started reading my running book.
I've since learned that although I was doing good work, I wasn't doing the right work for my running.
Some of the leg work that I've learned to do may seem funny, but they really do work in strengthening my legs and stabilizing me as I run.
So much of the impact your body takes is absorbed by the quadriceps, so leg work (the right kind) is important. Gosh, there's so much to learn, and I've only just begun!

Here are a few exercises that I've learned. I'm sorry I don't have pics this time.

The Pendelum (10 reps each leg)
1. Stand on one leg with your shoulder blades drawn back and core braced.
2. Lift one leg straight up behind you while reaching to your toes with the opposite arm. Keep your hips level. This is super hard for me because I have bad balance, but I can tell it's working when I run.

Toe Raise (10 reps each foot)
1. Stand with hands on hips and shoulders drawn back.
2. Raise your right toes off the floor while keeping your heel on the ground and hold for five seconds.
It's silly, but this strengthens your shins and prevents shin splints!

Prone Drive (15 reps each leg)
1. Lie flat on your back with braced abs and a neutral spine, and lift both feet off the floor so your knees are bent at 90 degrees and your calves are parallel to the floor. Then, keeping one leg stable, extend your other leg forward as though you were driving off it during a run.
2. Tap your heel on the ground for an instant, then return to the start. Alternate legs for 15 reps on each side.  This lengthens your hip flexors without moving your pelvis.

These exercises are from Runner's World:  Complete Guide to Running.

These are just examples of what I'm doing. Please make sure you're physically ready and check with a doctor before doing any of these exercises. Okay.. now there's the disclaimer. LOL.

Just a side note:  I also still do lunges and squats. Those are great for runners too!

Today's Food and Activities
Upper body with weights
1 cup Kashi, 1/2 cup 1% milk
7 almonds
1 cup mango
1 multigrain muffin, 6 slices turkey, basil, tomatoes, 1 TBS BB spread
7 almonds
Kashi Lemongrass Chicken
1 WW Cookies and Cream ice cream bar

Have a happy and healthy day!


carla said...

ever done the pendulum!
I shall rectify that today and report back tomorrow...if I can move :)


MissHaneefa said...

Thanks for the exercise, I will have to give them a try.

LeeLee said...

Thank you for the exercises. I will be trying these in my workouts!!!