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Your Garden - Your Gym

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If you’re one of those runners who absolutely hates the gym, read on. 

It’s a myth – perpetuated by the gym industry – that most strength and conditioning (S&C) exercises need a gym or require any particular fixed equipment. Nearly every S&C exercise we recommended for runners in last week’s blog can be done at home or in a park.  In fact, provided the weather is dry it can be more invigorating doing S&C outside.

All you need is a mat, a few weights and a bit of imagination.   If you can find a low wall and a railing in the park for garden, it can also help.  A wall can be helpful for stretching hamstrings and doing sit-ups and press ups, while a rail is good for tieing up your resistance band. Here are a few exercises suggested by Optima Racing Team Coach, James Beckinsale. 

2 men doing bridge exercise wearing Iffley Road running shorts and Iffley Road running tees

The back bridge is an important trunk-stabilizing movement which activates the large gluteal muscles in your buttocks.

Nordic hammies wearing Iffley Road running shorts and Iffley Road running teesNordic hammies into dynamic press-ups are great for strengthening your hamstrings.

Skipping wearing Iffley Road running shorts and Iffley Road tee

Skipping is perfect for training the Stretch Shortening Cycle for your running. 

2 men discussing S&C workout wearing Iffley Road shorts and Iffley Road tees

Once you've done your work-out it's useful to make some notes, chat it through with your coach (if you have one).  Rehydrate and relish the feeling of making your body stronger!