Running and resistance bands FLEXVIT

Running and resistance bands

Why running and resistance bands? Running is often about one thing: the distance. For runners, it is therefore about getting faster over a certain distance or extending the distance itself. What many underestimate is that besides regular running itself, strength training and especially training with resistance bands also bring enormous benefits.

Why Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are strong elastic bands used for strength, coordination and mobility training. Not only do athletes use them to improve their performance, but physiotherapists also make much use of these tools to help people recover. Why shouldn’t the tapes also bring benefits in running training?

And this is how you use the bands: By working against the resistance of the band, strength is built up in a gentle but effective way. Thanks to the different strengths, this gentle workout can also be transformed into a sweaty strength session in no time at all. Whether it’s stretching or strength, you can support your running workout in a variety of ways with the resistance bands.

Another special advantage is that the bands are small and handy and can be taken anywhere. Whether as a warm-up before running, for stretching afterwards or as an external full-body workout – the bands offer comprehensive and versatile possibilities.

Check out our practical athlete sets for your functional band training!

Running and resistance bands: avoid injuries

When you use resistance bands for your strength training, you are not only training the large muscle groups, but also the smaller muscles of the joints. By also mobilising and stabilising this area around your joints in your training, you can prevent injuries.

Many injuries in runners are due to overuse, such as hip problems and runner’s knee. These injuries are associated with weak hip muscles, which can be easily corrected with resistance band exercises. You can find exercises for this further down in the article.

Compared to traditional weights or exercise machines, resistance bands are known to put less stress on the joints. This means that you can still protect your running joints during your strength training. Even if you already have joint pain or are recovering from an injury, resistance bands allow you to train in an adapted and gentle way (check with your doctor beforehand to see which exercises are safe to do).

Laufen mit FLEXVIT und Widerstandsbändern

Running and resistance bands: improve performance

The bands also help correct muscular imbalances and improve muscle activation. This means that the movements you perform while running become more efficient. Logically, your running performance improves when every movement you make effectively extracts the maximum strength, endurance and flexibility from you.

For example, studies have shown that middle-distance runners have improved their performance by doing squat jumps with resistance bands. These jumps activate and strengthen your leg muscles, as well as improving the stability of your knees and ankles.

Exercises with bands for runners

Training with resistance bands for runners usually targets the leg muscles, more specifically the quadriceps and hamstrings. The focus is also on the buttocks and the lower leg muscles, i.e. the calves. We have put together a few exercises that will bring you closer to your running goals and make you a better runner:

1. mobilise & stabilise hip

Mobility and stability in the hips are essential for a good runner. Hip and gluteal muscles are opposites and together influence your stride length. Part of their interaction is the so-called hamstring tensor. This skeletal muscle belongs to the outer hip musculature and is responsible for spreading, bending and internal rotation of the thigh – also important for you as a runner: it also keeps your knee joint stable. In these exercises we show you how to train these two skills and at the same time activate your core for better posture:

Standing balance with the resistance band

Standing balance with resistance:

Use a FLEXVIT Revolve for this exercise. Place it around your shoulder and foot, which you move upwards during the standing balance. Start by standing hip-width apart and keep your core and abdominals active – as balance and your core also play an important role in this exercise. You can also put your hands on your hips to support your posture. Now lift the leg with the FLEXVIT Revolve attached to it as far back and up as possible. At the same time your upper body moves forward (like a scale). Your lifted leg and your upper body should always form a straight line at the same height. Your standing leg is slightly bent and stable. Take special care that your hips do not rotate upwards, as this will take the strain off your hip and gluteal muscles and rob the exercise of its important effect. Keep your upper body active and straight throughout the exercise. Hold the standing balance for a few seconds and then return to the starting position slowly and in a controlled manner. The FLEXVIT Revolve helps you to hold the position and the resistance helps to provoke the stretching of the entire back of your body.

2. strengthen legs

You probably already know the classic lunge. But with our FLEXVIT bands you can take this standard exercise to a new level.

Basic exercise lunge

Stand hip-width apart, torso and abdomen activated and straight. Now take a step, either backwards, forwards or to the side. The leg doing the step then bends to about a 90 degree angle. This way your shin should hover slightly above the floor and your knee should not protrude too much beyond your ankle. Keep your upper body upright and stable throughout. Then step back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Variation: Lunge with band for more resistance:

Stand in a step position – in this exercise variation you do not step back into a hip-width stance, but remain in a high or low lunge position the entire time. Now stand with your front foot on the FLEXVIT Revolve and place the large loop around your shoulder. You should already feel a slight pull here. Now bend your front leg and get into a deep lunge. Hold the position down here for a few seconds and then straighten up again. The resistance of the band now makes your leg muscles work extra hard. Again, an upright posture and controlled movement are essential.

YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

Variation: Lunge with lateral pull:

For this exercise variation, use the FLEXVIT Resist and attach it to a low anchor point or have your training partner hold it. Place the band around your shoulder and then position yourself so that you feel a pull to the side of your lunge. This will immediately challenge your balance and core in addition to your normal lunge. When everything is in place, you are ready to go. You can do the above lunge backwards, forwards or sideways. In each variation, the resistance of the band acts on your balance, activating and exercising your hamstrings, glutes and core.

YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

3. stabilise knee and ankle joints

When running, it is extremely important that the foot and knee joints are stable. If you bend outwards or inwards, this puts strain on the tendon and bone structures in the joints. These stresses can not only be detrimental to your health and lead to injuries, but also rob you of strength and resources that should actually go into your running. So if you have a straight, clean leg axis when you run, you move effectively and let your energy flow exactly where it should. In these exercises we show you how to stabilise your joints:

Lunge with leg axis stabilisation:

The lunge described above can also be used to stabilise your knee joints. Use a FLEXVIT Resist for this exercise as well. Fix the band to a low anchor point or have your training partner hold it. Position yourself so that the resistance acts on the side of your leg. Then place the band on your upper shin just below the knee. Here you also start in a step position and then move from a high to a low lunge. The band should now pull your knee either inwards or outwards and you actively control it, because of course you want to keep your knee stable and straight despite this external force. Keep your hamstrings and glutes working and at the same time keep your joints stable for your next run.

YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

All these exercises, including clear explanatory videos and further variations, can also be found in our free FLEXVIT App.

Activate buttocks and calves:

With this exercise you activate your buttocks and calves, and at the same time train the joint stability in your feet and knees. Place a FLEXVIT Mini around your ankles and stand slightly less than hip-width apart. Now jump with your feet apart in a controlled manner. Keep your legs and joints straight and don’t let your knees or ankles bend inwards. Then jump back to the starting position. This exercise may sound simple, but depending on the strength of your miniband you will feel your buttocks and calves after a few repetitions and sets.

Train your core

When you use resistance bands, you also train your core muscles and leg muscles. These muscle groups are activated and strained because you have to keep your balance while staying in certain positions. This activates your deep muscles and thus strengthens your core in the long term – even without lifting heavy weights. Many runners neglect the training of their core. However, as an ambitious athlete you should also include this muscle group: A strong core helps your overall posture and thus also your running form. The stronger your core muscles, the better your overall stability when running. And this stability in turn is the perfect starting point for a powerful and effective running style.

Running in old age: maintaining muscle mass

Older runners may be fit, but they are just as susceptible to sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass with age) as anyone else. Strength training is great for maintaining your muscle mass as you get older. The stronger and more stable your muscles are, the more they take the strain off or support your bone structures, joints and ligaments during exercise. In order to do sport as long as possible without pain and in a way that is beneficial to your health, you should integrate strength training into your running practice. With the FLEXVIT resistance bands, you can vary the intensity and range of application as needed.

Resistance bands and rehab:

An injury is always an unwanted break for any athlete, no matter how severe and prolonged it may be. In the event of an injury, resistance bands not only allow you to continue your training, but gentle training with bands can also help your injured muscles recover faster. For older people and rehabilitation exercises, resistance bands have been shown to help improve muscle strength, function and size.

Krafttraining vor dem Laufen mit Widerstandsbändern

Finally, as a runner, how often should you strength train with resistance bands?

If you are a short or middle distance runner, you should do strength training two to three times a week. This is best done on days when you do not have any heavy running training scheduled. If you are more of a distance runner, you should first build a solid foundation and integrate two sessions per week with sufficient recovery days between running and strength training. Over time, the frequency of strength training can be slowly reduced – but it should remain part of your training plan every week to prevent injury and train holistically, even if you are an experienced runner.

Discover the right resistance bands for your Functional Band workout