Adding strength training into your running schedule is a great way to balance your muscle definition and help you get stronger for running. However, you may consider resistance band training if you are concerned about getting injured from heavy weightlifting exercises. Does resistance band training help for running?
There are many significant advantages of incorporating resistance bands into your running schedule. For example, resistance band training helps increase your muscle strength, helping you run faster. Resistance bands also target the smaller connective muscles that help you to avoid injuries.
When and how to incorporate resistance band training into your overall running training is crucial, as the type and frequency of resistance band training depend on your running distance. In this guide, we will look at how you can use resistance bands to increase your strength and improve running speed.
We’ll also consider using resistance bands for warm-up exercises and post-workout recovery…
- Why Should You Use Resistance Bands For Running?
- How Can Resistance Bands Improve Running Speed?
- Using Resistance Bands For Warm-Up And Recovery
- Our Verdict on Resistance Bands For Runners
Why Should You Use Resistance Bands For Running?
Many runners assume that running is the only training you need to do well in a running meet. However, the truth is that you must incorporate various exercises in your workout routine to improve your overall performance, strength, and running speed.
Using resistance bands in your running workout routine is an excellent way to incorporate strength training. Resistance bands are easy and effective for targeting the muscles used to run. They also help prevent injuries and rehabilitate injured muscles.
These are some clear and obvious advantages of using resistance bands for running:
1. Resistance Bands Increases Your Muscle Strength
Strength training, such as resistance bands, helps increase your muscle strength. You will be a stronger runner if you have stronger running muscles, including glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. This also increases your speed and endurance.
One study published in 2022 also showed that resistance band training was one of the most effective ways of reducing body fat in runners who are overweight.
Less weight to carry will almost certainly result in better running performance, all other factors being equal.
2. Resistance Bands Help Prevent Injuries
Resistance bands not only target the major muscle groups. They also target the smaller, often neglected muscles and tissues that lead to injuries and weakness. Resistance bands target the hip flexor muscles, the ITB band, which often causes knee injuries, and the small muscles in the feet that lead to fatigue.
Resistance bands can therefore help with muscle and joint pain while also targeting the harder-to-reach muscles that often cause various injuries because they are neglected.
3. Resistance Bands Help With Recovery
In addition to using resistance bands for strength training, you can incorporate them into your recovery routine. Resistance bands are excellent aids for stretching and working out any stiff muscles. Using resistance bands for recovery is a great way to relax your muscles and ensure every muscle is stretched and targeted.
Even better, resistance bands can help recover injured muscles or joints. You can gradually increase an injured muscle’s strength by adjusting the resistance band’s level. Resistance bands give you complete control of the intensity you exert on an injured muscle, which helps recover and repair the muscle.
4. Resistance Bands Help Balance Your Muscle Definition
If you’re only running, specific muscles are targeted while others are neglected. These neglected muscles can cause injuries and affect your overall running form and muscle definition.
By incorporating resistance training with resistance bands into your workout routine, the muscles neglected while running are also targeted. This leads to better muscle definition and a better running form and posture.
5. Resistance Bands Improve Bone Density
Our bones start to deteriorate as we get older. They get brittle and are easier to break. However, resistance training is an excellent way to increase your bone density and prevent them from becoming brittle. By doing resistance training, you increase your bone health. This can help avoid conditions such as osteoporosis and can also help reduce arthritis pain.
These are the advantages of adding resistance training to your running workout routine. Resistance bands are an excellent form of resistance training because they place less strain on your joints than weightlifting.
Using resistance bands are also easier than weight lifting exercises because you don’t require particular knowledge of the proper form to complete an exercise as you do with weightlifting.
You might wonder if resistance bands can help to improve your running speed or endurance. If so, how do you use resistance bands to achieve a faster running speed?
How Can Resistance Bands Improve Running Speed?
Resistance training is crucial to increasing your muscle strength. If your muscles are stronger, you have increased explosive power. This means that when you push yourself forward while running, your muscles can propel you forward much better if they are stronger. Therefore, resistance training is crucial if you wish to run faster.
While resistance training benefits all types of running, you will see a remarkable difference in your overall performance if you are a short-distance runner. Medium distance runners will also see increased speed. In contrast, long-distance runners will mainly experience increased muscle endurance by adding resistance training to their schedule.
What exercises should you do with a resistance band to increase your running speed? Some specific exercises target your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. These are the main muscles used when running and can benefit most from additional resistance training. There are many kinds of resistance bands, each with a specific function:
- Loop resistance bands (also known as booty bands)
- Flat rehabilitation bands
- Tube resistance bands with handles
- Power and mobility resistance bands
Each type of resistance band also has various color-coded resistance strengths. We recommend trying the different resistance strengths until you find one you are comfortable with. You should be able to do 12-15 reps of each exercise. These are some resistance exercises we recommend to improve your running speed. All these exercises use loop resistance bands and power and mobility resistance bands.
Note: You can also try weighted vests if you are looking for a quick way to improve your running speed.
1. Monster Walks With Resistance Bands
Monster walks are a great exercise to strengthen your quads, glutes, and hip flexors. In addition, monster walks also improve your balance and stability, which improves your running form and speed. You require a loop resistance band and a flat surface for monster walks.
Place the resistance band above or below your knees. Placing the bands below your knees adds more resistance than above. Then, bend your knees (your feet should be hip-width apart) and walk forward at a 45° angle. Give ten to fifteen steps forward, followed by ten to fifteen steps backward.
2. Side Steps With Resistance Bands
Side Steps with resistance bands target your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. For side steps, you can use a loop resistance band or a power and mobility resistance band. Put the band above or below your knees when using a loop resistance band. When using a power and mobility resistance band, step on the band and loop it around your shoulders. You should be standing inside the band.
With your knees slightly bent, walk ten to fifteen steps to one side. Then, walk ten to fifteen steps to the other side to end where you began. Keep tension on the resistance bands while walking. You will feel this exercise mainly in the side glute and hip flexors.
3. Jump Squats With Resistance Bands
Jump squats are an excellent exercise to improve your driving force and power output. You can use a loop or power and mobility resistance band when doing jump squats with a resistance band. The placement of these bands is precisely the same as they are when doing side steps.
To start a jump squat, place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointing outward. Lower into a squat, and as you push up from the squat position, jump and lift yourself into the air. Lower back down into a squat once you land.
4. Lunges With Resistance Bands
Forward lunges target the quads, while reverse lunges focus more on the hamstrings and glutes. Both these exercises are great for improving your strength and running speed. The added resistance of a loop resistance band further increases your muscle strength and endurance.
Place the resistance band above or below your knees and do forward, reverse, or walking lunges. Lunges are also perfect at targeting the smaller muscles and joints in the knee, helping prevent injuries while running.
5. Glute Bridges With Resistance Bands
Glute bridges target your glutes, which are essential for pushing you uphill and driving you forward faster. You can do glute bridges with a loop or power and mobility band.
Place the loop resistance band just above your knees. When using a power and mobility band, loop it around a weight, a bench, or step on the band and loop the other side over your waist.
Lie on your back with your knees bent to do a glute bridge. Then, lift your glutes by pushing into the floor with your feet. Keep your back straight while lifting, and lower your glutes to the floor. Repeat this exercise. You can also do a pulse by opening and closing your knees at the top of the bridge. This targets your hip flexors.
6. Calve Raises With Resistance Bands
Training your calves is crucial to improving your running strength and speed. You will need a power and mobility resistance band to do calve raises. Step on the resistance band and loop the other end across your shoulders. Then, lift yourself onto your toes and lower back onto your heels for one repetition.
These are some of the best resistance band exercises you can do to improve your running strength and speed. You may also wonder how to incorporate resistance bands into your warm-up and post-workout recovery.
Using Resistance Bands For Warm-Up And Recovery
As you very well know, stretching and doing proper warm-up exercises are crucial before running to avoid strain and injury. Likewise, doing some cool-down stretches after running is essential to reduce muscle stiffness and fatigue.
You can use resistance bands for your warm-up exercises and your post-workout recovery. For example, use the lightest resistance bands to do the abovementioned exercises as a warm-up. In addition, use flat rehabilitation resistance bands to help you stretch your calves, hamstrings, and ankles after training.
Resistance bands can help you target more muscles when warming up and doing cool-down stretches after running. They are incredibly helpful tools in many areas of your training and conditioning.
Our Verdict on Resistance Bands For Runners
Adding resistance bands to your running training improves your speed, strength, and endurance. You can do many resistance training exercises that improve your running speed, such as squat jumps with resistance bands or glute bridges with resistance bands.
Just as importantly, you can use resistance bands for warm-up and post-workout recovery exercises.
There are various advantages of incorporating resistance band training into your workout schedule, especially if you are a short-distance runner hoping to improve your running speed.