functional band training for runners

Functional Band Training for Runners

Functional training with resistance bands for more strength endurance

Too intensive a form of training is usually accompanied by overtraining. Especially in running, too many training kilometres can quickly push our musculoskeletal system to its limits. Tension, inertia and injuries would inevitably be pre-programmed. This is a decisive advantage of functional training with resistance bands. A functional movement foundation is created that enables correct and, above all, efficient control of the target movement. Our body becomes more resistant through functional training with resistance bands.

Why functional training is particularly beneficial for runners

It doesn’t matter whether you train on regulated and mostly asphalted paths or on trail routes. A natural run turns out to be inevitable. In this respect, however, we need a corresponding movement apparatus. Our hips, ankles and knees can be perfectly activated with the support of the FLEXVIT mini bands. Through mobility training we can create mobility and release tension. However, we need resistance to activate the respective target muscles.


External environmental factors such as gradients or changing ground determine our body alignment. Athletes learn to interact much more predictably. Alpine terrain in combination with many metres of altitude presents our athletics with challenging functional tasks. For example, our arms are used for natural balancing. In addition, a higher demand profile is placed on our hull. Downwards, we have to work economically in a targeted way to minimise the impact. Short ground contact times are the key to success here. In this context, organic movements enable an efficient energy balance. We can simulate this very well by using tapes. We generate traction lines, torques, which the body has to compensate for throughout.

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Movement chains should be primarily trained

The interaction of the upper back of the leg, the upper front of the leg and the adductors determines the path of the lower leg muscles. The faster the upper muscle chain works together, the better the output. We have a better rash afterwards. This further occurs through the stretch-shortening cycle, which takes place passively. In addition, of course, our joint angles play a central role. However, many athletes tend to use active control in this respect. It is here that plyometric exercises can be used in combination with resistance bands. The FLEXVIT Resist offers numerous functional possibilities here.

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Making use of rotations and anti-rotations in functional training with resistance bands

Unstable ankle joints, a flattened arch and a generally reduced range of motion can lead to internal rotation, for example. Knee problems or pronation in the ankle often go hand in hand with this. These overload symptoms cannot be compensated for in the long run. Therefore, I think it is crucial to create muscular balance through functional training for runners. A diagonal movement between hip and shoulder finally brings our body out of balance. Many athletes then move dominantly over the front of their legs or take their arms with them in excess. This often happens with an increased cadence. Stability, however, goes hand in hand with mobility and agility. The art is to stop movements in a targeted manner in order to then initiate a counter-movement. This can be specifically optimised as part of functional training with resistance bands.

The glutes as a crucial interface between the upper and lower body

Our gluteal muscles play an essential role in efficient propulsion. The small gluteal muscle in particular should be trained through strengthening exercises for runners, as it is partly responsible for external rotation. Runners get added value from this extra stability. In functional training with resistance bands, special attention should be paid to not overstretching the pelvis at all, otherwise we are more likely to hit the deep back muscles. The target muscles of the buttocks can be optimally trained with the FLEXVIT Mini. We can use it to ideally align our ankles as well as our knees. Here we also train in three-dimensional space and control our chain of movements perfectly. Peak performance, which is called upon in the long term, always goes hand in hand with an efficient form of movement. Functional training with resistance bands (“Functional Band Training”) should therefore be a core element in every training management.

Exercises for runners with resistance bands

Especially the gluteal and leg muscles can be optimally activated and strengthened with the FLEXVIT Mini. Suitable exercises can be performed both standing up and lying down.

Running with the miniband

Steps in all directions can easily be made more difficult with the FLEXVIT Mini. Depending on the position of the miniband around the legs – e.g. above the knees, at the ankles or at the feet – the intensity and focus of an exercise can be changed. In addition, several mini-bands can also be used.

Side Steps with the FLEXVIT Mini


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1) Place the mini band just above the knees. Stand shoulder-width apart, bend the knees slightly, push the buttocks back a little and hold the arms loosely in front of the chest. The tips of the feet point forward.


2) Now move one leg to the side and place your foot on the floor a little further away from the other foot. Take the hands actively with you.


3) After a few steps to one side, change direction and walk sideways with the other leg in front. Try to maintain the slightly bent position during the exercise.


Ideally, the steps should also be performed forwards or backwards, as all three planes of movement are controlled.

Exercises while lying down with the FLEXVIT Mini

A variety of exercises can be done with the mini-band, especially in the supine and lateral positions. If you want to train your core at the same time, you can also use the miniband to make leg raises and abduction more difficult in (lateral) support or forearm support.

Pelvic lift with the FLEXVIT Mini


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1) Place the mini band just above the knees and lie on your back. Stand with your legs bent and open your feet and knees hip-width apart so that the mini band is on tension. Place the arms close to the sides of the body. The head is also laid down.


2) Activate the gluteal muscles and push the pelvis up so that it is in line between the thigh and the upper body. Make sure that the hips do not sink to one side and that the buttocks remain up.


3) Hold the stretch briefly and then lower your pelvis until just before you touch the ground.


You can find more exercises with FLEXVIT bands on YouTube.

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Autor Stephan Kohlhauser Kopie

About the author

Mag. Stephan Kohlhauser MA.


I am particularly interested in innovative training concepts in the following sports: triathlon, swimming, cycling and ultra running. Through my coaching as well as my own athletic training, I love to have my finger on the pulse of functional training. As a multiple triathlon participant and ultra runner, I combine theory with practical knowledge. My main occupation is caring for people with mental as well as physical handicaps.