Essential Fitness Equipment for Runners
Running is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. Not only does it help you build strength and endurance, but it can also be a great way to clear your head and relieve stress. While running outside has its benefits, adding some gym equipment to your routine can take your training to the next level. From treadmills and stationary bikes, to ellipticals and more – there are plenty of options available for runners who want an extra challenge. In honor of Global Running Day happening next week, this article will explore the top gym equipment that we know runners love to train with. Let’s get started!
The treadmill is a staple in any runner's gym routine. It provides a controlled environment for running, allowing you to adjust speed, incline, and distance. Treadmills are like any great coach—tracking your progress and motivating you to reach higher goals. Keeping track of output and intensity can be invaluable when defining a running routine. A better understanding of performance enables you to push yourself to the next level in productivity while enjoying the process rather than feeling trapped by unhealthy habits.
Looking for a challenge? Spice up your routine by incorporating hill sprints into your treadmill workout. It's an effective way to improve speed and increase strength. As you run, it helps strengthen the muscles used for posture work while increasing coordination and balance. Not to mention, more challenge makes workouts more fun and can lead to better results! Ramping up the incline on the treadmill will elevate your training and amplify the benefits of exercise—sprinting uphill challenges your body while building muscular power.
If you're looking for a low-impact alternative to a treadmill, the elliptical machine is an excellent option. While running is great for cardiovascular health and can help improve endurance, it can also put a lot of stress on the joints, especially the knees. An elliptical will provide a similar full-body workout with far less torque on the joints and a fraction of the risk of injury.
Plus, the handles up top make it a great way to work in some cross-training. Using an elliptical machine supports both upper and lower body development in parallel, activating nearly all muscle groups as you stride. This takes total body activation a step further than the treadmill, and can help exponentially build strength and power in supportive, synchronized motion.
Indoor cycling bikes provide a seated yet high-intensity workout that can improve running in several key ways. Like ellipticals, they too offer a low-impact alternative to running that still delivers a challenging workout. Not only does it reduce the risk of injury, but it also helps build lower body strength and improve pedaling technique, which translates to better running form.
In addition, indoor cycling bikes offer a customizable and time-efficient workout experience, allowing runners to tailor their rides to target specific muscles and achieve their goals. With features like adjustable resistance and incline, this is made simple. It's no wonder that indoor bikes have become a go-to piece of equipment for runners looking to elevate their workouts and improve their performance.
Instead of a piece of exercise equipment, our next pick for runners is actually a self-care tool. Foam rollers have become a must-have in the fitness industry for their ability to aid in muscle recovery after exercise. Runners, in particular, find foam rollers especially useful due to the high-impact nature of their sport. When used before or after a run, rollers can help to loosen tight and sore muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce the risk of injury.
Additionally, foam rollers can also target specific areas of the body, such as the calves, hamstrings, or quads, which tend to take on a lot of stress during a run. By targeting these muscles with a foam roller, runners can alleviate any pain or soreness that may arise from overuse. A roller can make the difference between a stable running routine and one that is constantly thrown off the rails due to painful, slow recovery periods.
Resistance bands, in addition to being a versatile tool for full-body workouts, can also be incredibly useful for runners. For starters, resistance band exercises can target specific muscle groups that are important for running, such as the glutes and quadriceps. Building strength in these areas can lead to improved speed, endurance, and overall performance on the track or trail. Plus, resistance bands offer a low-impact option for cross-training on recovery days, allowing runners to maintain their fitness without putting undue stress on their joints.
And let's not forget about the convenience factor – resistance bands are lightweight, portable, and easy to pack in a gym bag or take on the road. With a little creativity, runners can use resistance bands to perform a variety of exercises that mimic the movement patterns of running and help them stay in top shape no matter where they are. Their accessibility can be a game-changer for a runner constantly on the move.
We hope our top picks for runners help you appreciate every stride even more this upcoming Global Running Day. Not only will these tools help reduce injury risk and build strength in key running muscle groups, but they'll also provide greater convenience as well as improved speed and endurance while out on the track or trail. With so many gym options available today, it’s never been easier to keep running with the right gear! Get with us to get yours.