When it comes to running, you probably think about strong legs, and a strong core. However, a muscle group that all runners should pay plenty of attention to is the back. The back does a number of things for runners, like keeping them upright and helping them keep a better posture, both of which are important for the sport.
If you’re looking to up your running game, then working your back muscles out in the gym will help. Learn how below.
A Strong Back Provides Stability
Running is a sport with a lot of impact. When your feet pound the pavement, you cause small tremors throughout your body. This repeated impact can be a nightmare for muscles that aren’t ready for it, ultimately causing issues in your joints. A strong set of back muscles helps to prevent that, though.
Mid and lower back muscles help stabilize the spine and the pelvis. They do this by absorbing the forces that are caused with the impact of your steps. Overall, this prevents injuries, first and foremost. Then, as the muscles grow and strengthen, they actually help your run even further. Strong back muscles reduce unnecessary body sway that originates in the spine and hips, as well, meaning that you’re spending less energy when you run.
Better Posture Helps Runners, Too
When you have better posture, you will also have an advantage when you run. Leaning forward, or slouching, can be caused by weak back muscles. When running, this decreases the efficiency of your run. It causes you to use far more energy than what’s necessary, and it can even lead to falls and further injuries.
A strong back leads to better posture. This is one way to keep your run efficient, and to help you get better overall times. Biomechanics affect other biomechanics. As such, things like spinal rotation can actually sap energy from processes like the movement of your legs. The same can be said of shoulders that are too loose, or arms that are carried outside of the necessary range of motion. Every muscle group affects every other muscle group, but at the center of it all is your back.
How to Improve Your Back Muscles During the Shoulder Season
With winter approaching rapidly, it’s about to be shoulder season for running. While treadmills still let you train inside during the colder months, you may want to consider adding some back exercises to your repertoire. These are some of the exercises recommended by pros:
- Seated cable rows, bent over rows, and chest supported rows are all weight lifting exercises that can improve back strength and overall posture.
- Yoga exercises and stretches that focus on the back can lead to a healthier posture, and a better feeling overall.
Are you recovering from a back injury? Before you get back to running, visit us at North County Clinic. We can help you get your back into running shape in no time flat! Give us a call to set up an appointment today.