On the first stop of our Road 2 Berlin Legend we accompanied Philipp Pflieger, one of Germany's best long-distance runners, to his own running analysis in the 5D Lab and learned how important it is to integrate strength and mobility exercises into a running workout.
You want to keep the fun and joy of running as long as possible?
Then it's best to ensure regular variety and keep an eye on your training: Because running can put a lot of stress on your joints and muscles. If you want to run healthily, effectively and, above all, injury-free in the long term, you should add a few muscle strengthening and mobility exercises to your training routine.
By strengthening specific muscle groups, you can not only optimize your movement sequences, but also move more energy-efficiently. Add mobility training to your sessions and you'll improve your flexibility and posture at the same time.
Discover the benefits of these exercises:
- You strengthen particularly stressed muscle parts.
- You improve your running style and run more efficiently.
- You actively support regeneration and reduce the risk of injury.
- You lower the muscle tone through the stretching exercises.
- You optimize the range of motion of your joints.
So what are you waiting for? Together with Philipp we have compiled each three of these strength and mobility exercises for your new training routine.
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This full-body exercise has it all! With the standing balance you train your core muscles, lower back, buttocks and foot muscles at the same time and also improve your posture.
The exercise also trains your sense of balance and improves motor skills.
Here's how it works:
- Stretch your arms out to the sides and shift your weight to one leg.
- Slowly bend the upper body forward.
- At the same time, stretch the free leg straight back, keeping the standing leg slightly bent.
- Your upper body forms a horizontal line with the extended leg, the hip remains parallel to the floor.
Start with three repetitions per side, trying not to drop the free leg.
Bridging (single leg)
This exercise focuses on the gluteal muscles and the back of the thighs. You strengthen the core muscles at the same time. This one-legged variation increases the intensity of the exercise.
How to do it:
- Place your arms flat on the floor beside you.
- Angle your legs while lying on your back at a 90-degree angle.
- First place your feet flat on the floor and cross your arms in front of your chest.
- Now place the feet on the heel and raise the hips.
- Lift the right leg while maintaining the 90-degree angle.
- Hold this for 15 seconds, then switch from the right leg to the left.
Perform five reps per side, increasing the time of holding as you become more confident and stable.
Plank with rotation
A classic strength exercise that strengthens the entire core muscles while promoting shoulder stability through rotation.
Here's how it works:
- Lie on your stomach on the floor and support your upper body with your forearms.
- Now get into the plank position: lift your hips, open your legs hip-width apart, feet are in line with your elbows.
- Your back forms a parallel line with the floor.
- For the rotation, rotate your torso and hips 90 degrees. Extend one arm straight up and hold the position briefly.
- Return to the plank position and perform the rotation in the opposite direction.
Five repetitions per side will already assist you in noticeably strengthening your core muscles.
This combined exercise is perfect for strengthening individual muscles of the body (core) while stretching (back of the thighs).
Here's how it works:
- Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.
- Roll your torso down, vertebra by vertebra, until your hands touch the floor.
- Slowly walk your hands forward until you reach the plank position with your arms outstretched.
- Now walk in small steps with your feet behind you until you reach your hands.
- Roll back up, vertebra by vertebra, until you are standing vertically in the starting position.
Repeat this exercise five times.
Worlds Greatest Stretch
This exercise is the classic mobility exercise. It works the entire body and moves all the major joints.
How it works:
- From a hip-width stance, go into a wide lunge. The left leg is in front, forming a 90-degree angle between the upper and lower leg. The right leg is extended backward.
- Now place the right hand firmly on the floor, position beneath your shoulder, fingers spread.
- Bring the left forearm toward the floor, perhaps even touching the floor. Hold this for a few seconds.
- Then open this position and extend the left arm upward until both arms form a line. The head follows the upper hand.
Repeat this sequence five times before switching sides.
Simultaneous external and internal rotation makes this stretch a perfect exercise for hip mobility.
How to do it:
- Get into a side sit. While doing this, your left thigh points forward parallel to the center of your body. The lower leg points to the right at a 90-degree angle.
- Pull the right leg so that the thigh points to the right at a 90-degree angle to the hip.
- The lower leg points backward as perpendicularly as possible.
- Both knees touch the floor.
- Bend forward slightly with the upper body. Use your hands to support yourself on the floor. Make sure that your upper body does not deviate to the left or right.
Hold this position for 60 seconds per side, breathing deeply to relax into the posture.