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6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Upper Body

A runner’s gams get all the glory. We thank our quads and calves for carrying us through the finish line and rub them down after a tough workout. While strong legs are important, a toned upper body can improve your running more than you might think.

When you run, your arms do more than just swing back and forth. If you have ever watched an elite runner race, you’ll notice her running cadence matches the movement of the arms like perfect clockwork. That’s because she’s using her entire body to run as fast and efficiently as possible.

With every foot strike, your arms save your legs energy by helping drive your body forward. A strong upper body will power you through tough workouts and races while helping you maintain good form as you train to boost your endurance.

When? What? How?

  • Perform exercises two to three times per week, preferably on cross-training or easy running days.
  • Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (easy running, cycling, rowing, uphill walking) and cool down with 5 to 10 minutes of easy stretching.
  • During your workout, always focus on breathing and good form.
  • When using weights, choose ones that are heavy enough that you feel a deep burn around the 10th rep.
  • Perform two to three sets  of 15 reps of each exercise.  

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