As I mentioned in a previous post, strength training is not cross-training for runners. It’s an essential part of structured training that’s needed to properly prepare you for peak performance.
Bodyweight exercises are a great place to start, but if you truly want to maximise your strength and chance for improvement, adding some resistance into your training is a must.
You can add resistance in several ways, the most common being free weights and bands.
In today’s post, I’ll introduce you to resistance bands and share a few simple exercises to get you started.
What Are Resistance Bands?
A resistance band is an elastic band used for strength training and can also be used for stretching or mobility routines. They come in various lengths, thicknesses and durability, and are designed to help you stay fit, flexible, and strong. As a bonus, they’re inexpensive and can be easily purchased.
Stretchcordz is my favourite form of resistance band for swimming, but a traditional resistance band works well for runners and cyclists.
Most bands are colour-coded according to tension level (e.g., light, medium, heavy, very heavy), and I would recommend you purchase a range of tension levels since different muscle groups will require different levels of resistance.
What Exercises Can You Do?
Resistance bands are incredibly flexible, so there are many exercises and stretches you can do with them. To get you started, here are a few simple exercises demonstrated by Coach Jim.
1/4 Squat Crab Walk
As you can see, adding resistance bands into your training is relatively simple. You can transform most bodyweight exercises into a tougher version of itself with the application of resistance bands.
If you’re not already using bands in your training, I encourage you to give it a go. It could significantly increase your performance while helping to keep you injury-free.