Strength Training Exercises For Endurance Sports

Strength Training Exercises For Endurance Sports

The importance of strength training in endurance sports is often overlooked. People usually are under the impression that an increase in strength always comes with an increase in muscle mass. This may be true in some cases, but for most the actual physical gains will be almost negligible, and definitely not enough to exclude strength training.

The basis of strength training is quite simple: A low number of very heavily weighted exercises prepares your muscles for having to go through the same bout again, building and strengthening your muscle tissues. This can be contrasted with body building, where you go for more repetitions to give you more of the “pumped” look.

Strength Training Exercises

A good strength training routine will include somewhere in the range of 3-5 sets of  5-10 reps max per workout. You’re not so much going for the pump but rather to take your muscles to complete failure.

There are many exercises for strength training, and you’ll want to mix these up  in your routine so you continue to shock the muscles. Here are a few crucial exercises that are a necessity in any program:
  • Squats: A squat can be done either on a Smith machine or with a barbell. Rest the bar on your shoulders behind your neck and bend down at the knees, keeping your back straight, until your butt is parallel with the floor. Do not descend any further as it will place unnecessary stress on the knee joint. If it’s too difficult, reduce the weight or don't go down as far.
  • Deadlifts: This exercise involves both legs and back. Start with a barbell on the floor and your knees bent at about shoulder width apart. Begin to pick up the weight. Do not lift the bar solely with your back or you’ll risk injury. Lift the barbell in one clean motion, locking the legs and lifting with your lower back. It’s best to start this one with very little weight until you feel comfortable with the motion.
  • Bent over row: It can be tough to work out if you don’t have access to a gym. The bent over row can be done from home with just a simple barbell and some weights. Bend over the barbell so your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your chin up and look straight ahead. With the barbell about 6 inches in front of you, take a wide grip and pick it up. From this position you’ll bring the weight up to your navel trying to utilize your lower and mid back muscles as opposed to your biceps. Once you’ve touched your navel, fully extend your arms and then repeat.

    Remember that for each set the weight should only touch the floor twice: Once in the beginning and once when you’re finished. 

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