Yeeehawwww! It’s time for another end of the month workout round up with all my crazy ass runner friends! This time we’re focused on upper body workouts for runners and how a strong upper body can help with fatigue, form and pure power in performance.

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LET’S DO THIS!

Of course we will begin with my workout and no, I did not choose these exercises just because I had professional shots taken by Anna Mattoon. That would be seriously vain and self-indulgent, now wouldn’t it? But it does make for a nice poster…

UPPER BODY WORK FOR RUNNERS

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a coach told me how important upper body strength was to my running performance. I was trying to qualify for Boston on my second marathon attempt and, had hired a coach since I needed to knock a whopping 15 minutes off of my previous time. Among many other things, he told me how to use my muscular and strong upper body – – “when your legs get tired, your feet will follow your arms!” And, during that second marathon, many years ago, that was exactly what I thought of as I was grinding out the final 5k of the race. It worked. I qualified with 10 minutes to spare.

I still think about that advice and have relied heavily on my upper body strength in many ways, to support my running habit.

Of course, my favorite way to work my upper body these days is swimming. If you have access to a pool or open water, use it, otherwise here are my three key moves, which I incorporate in my weekly strength sessions:

WALKING PLANK

One of my favorites but be careful not to chafe your elbows on this one! Maintain a good plank first then “walk” it out, one arm at a time. When you get really good at it, lift one foot for maximum core benefit. I know this is supposed to be about your upper body but, why not train as many muscle groups at one time as you can?

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OVERHEAD PRESS

Simple move with maximum benefit. The key to this move is to keep your shoulders low and maintain a straight line from your shoulder to your elbow. You can do both arms at once, alternate and even add a lunge. Get crazy.

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PUSH UPS/TRICEP PUSH UPS ON 2 BOSUS

If you only have one, use it flipped over and place your hands on it, to do the push ups. This moves not only helps you strengthen your chest and triceps, it has the added value of working your core as you try to maintain your balance.

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If you hate these moves or have done then ad nauseam, do not despair! I have five others for you to try courtesy of my very experienced friends…

Sarah | RUN FAR GIRL

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Carly | FINE FIT DAYScreen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.38.10 PM

 

Nellie | BROOKLYN ACTIVE MAMAScreen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.43.36 PM

Laura | THIS RUNNER’S RECIPES

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Angela | HAPPY FIT MAMA

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And finally, I need to announce the winner of the WaterFi Waterproof iPod that will most certainly change your life…

 

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CONGRATULATIONS Christine! Now you will really want to start getting those laps in!

 

Do you have a go-to upper body workout?

What is your favorite upper body part to train and why?

What are three things you would rather do than work your upper body? Yes, just three.