Your quads, hamstrings, glutes and abs often hog the limelight. Work your 'hidden heroes' - lesser-known but just as important muscles - to run stronger, faster and fitter.
A runner’s body is like a tent on a windy hillside. The poles are your big muscles – the quads, hamstrings, glutes and abs – that keep you upright and moving. But to keep the tent stable, you need ropes and pegs.
These come in the form of your supporting muscles, and they need to be in good nick to tirelessly prop up every stride. “Keeping your posture aligned and working the supporting muscles specific to running, which are found deep inside your torso, hips and legs, will improve your efficiency by helping you cover more miles with less effort,” says strength and running coach Paul Collins, author of Dynamic Dumbbell Training (£14.94, Meyer & Meyer). “A weakness in these muscles is often a precursor to injury.”
To shore up your black spots and make you a more economical runner, we’ve devised a plan to strengthen your most important supporting muscles – so the next time you’re waiting for the starter’s gun you can be confident that your body is hard-wearing enough to weather any storm.
I feel the diagram a little misleading. The best way to do this exercise is one leg at a time. Put the exercise band around a chair or table leg and stretch the band allowing the foot to invert. The foot then should be everted keeping the leg absolutly still. It is also important to keep you toes pointed away from you to isolate the peroneal muscle group.
Nick Askham. Specialist in podiatric biomechanics
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