Following weight training routines is a great way to build new muscle tissue while resting your feet from yesterday’s run. While taking a day off from hitting the trails, use the weights on underworked parts of your body to maximize effectiveness.
In order to build lean muscle without bulking up, focus on using a comfortable weight which you can utilize for multiple reps during each set.
I tend to concentrate on my arms and back, in particular.
The below exercises are great ways to incorporate lifting weights into your cross training, and will take you about 15-20 minutes total.
Alternating Bicep Curls
Incorporating an arm workout into your weight training routines is a must for any runner. Since you are working those legs so hard while you log your miles, it is important to strengthen your biceps and triceps. This will keep your core strong and your endurance level high.
1. With two barbells that are a comfortable weight, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold hands comfortably by your sides with the weights.
2. Curling your right arm upward, bring your hand to your chest in one count. Your knuckles should be facing the mirror. Lower it back to your side in two counts, making sure to control the motion.
3. Repeat exercise with your left arm. Complete 25 reps with each arm, alternating to both arms on each count. Rest for one minute.
4. Increase barbell weight by 20%. Complete 15 reps with each arm, alternating to both arms on each count. Rest for one minute.
5. Increase barbell size by an additional 20%. Complete 5-8 reps.
This back exercise will help keep your lats and core strong and stable while running. Definitely a good one to add to your weight training routines.
1. Using a row cable machine, a body bar, or free weights, sit straight up with a strong back and legs extended.
2. Start with squeezing your abs, and pull the bar towards your chest.
3. Make sure to squeeze your arms backward before slowly returning the bar to the starting location. Start out with 25 reps at a very comfortable weight, and rest for one minute.
4. Increase weight by 20%, complete 15 more reps, and rest for one minute.
5. Increase weight by an additional 20% lbs, complete 5-8 more reps.
The shoulder press exercise focuses mostly on the back deltoid and trapezius muscles, but also gives your triceps a good workout.
1. I usually use a 15 lb. body bar for this workout, which can usually be found by the abs section of your gym, or in most cardio classrooms. Shoulder press machines or barbells can be substituted for this exercise.
2. Start with the bar resting comfortably near your shoulders, across your collar bone at the top of your chest.
3. Lifting your hands upward, raise the bar until your arms are straight above your head. Make sure not to lock your elbows.
4. Lower back onto your shoulders in 2 counts, and repeat 20 times. Rest for one minute, and repeat twice more.