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Endurance experts share their best strength exercises Endurance experts share their best strength exercises
Are you looking to add more variety to your lockdown training? Perhaps you want to use this time to become a stronger athlete or... Endurance experts share their best strength exercises

Are you looking to add more variety to your lockdown training? Perhaps you want to use this time to become a stronger athlete or work on any strength imbalances.

We spoke to two leading local endurance specialists – Adrian Saffy from Pure Adventures and sports scientist and coach Adrian Le Roux – to get their top recommendations for lockdown exercises.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing offers good carryover benefits for trail or mountain runners. In essence, showdown boxing is a method of cross-training (unless you’re not a boxer, of course) and the benefits of cross-training for endurance athletes are well documented.

Cross-training improves fitness, which might seem obvious but by doing different exercises your fitness improves in different ways. For example, it improves posture and coordination, boosts your mental strength and will help you to recover faster as cross-training often acts as active recovery exercise.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow Boxing

Benefits of shadow boxing for the mountain runner includes:

  • You can do it anywhere (in lockdown too)
  • It improves your footwork, balance and coordination
  • It’s a total body workout that demands work from most of your muscles, including your core.
  • Develop and boosts aerobic fitness.

The Turkish Get-Up

When you add up all of the Turkish get-up’s benefits, it becomes a highly effective exercise for overall mobility and stability of the core, shoulders, and hips

Turkish getup

Turkish get-up

No other single exercise can do all of this. The get-up gives instant feedback as to what you need to work on.

It can be a beneficial warm-up, functional strength, and/or corrective exercise for strength, power and endurance athletes.

The ability to maintain overhead stability during movement is key in most sports, and/or is helpful in preventing injury at the shoulder joint.

Mountain Climbers

If you have time for only one exercise, choose mountain climbers. It’s a simple exercise but offers a solid workout if done correctly.

It works several muscles at the same time: core, abs, glutes, lower back and shoulder muscles. These muscles are all switched on to keep your hips up while performing the knee lift.

And the faster you go, the more explosive the exercise becomes. The movement requires quick- footedness, which makes it great for agility and coordination. It also serves as a great warm-up exercise before more dynamic workouts like lunges and jumps.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Example workout:

  1. 30 seconds all-out effort
  2. 15 seconds recovery
  3. Repeat 5 times.

If you want more of a challenge increase to 45 sec with 15sec rest with more sets.

Bulgarian Split Squats

The importance of unilateral (single leg) strength work can’t be underestimated. Building unilateral leg strength will help every endurance athlete, especially trail and mountain runners to improve their performance.

The Bulgarian split squat is one of the best single-leg leg strength exercises you can do. It is a relatively safe movement that will build lower body strength and correct imbalances, while also improving mobility and total-body stability.

You can perform this exercise almost anywhere, with or without weight, and it is easy to learn and execute. It is perhaps the perfect single-leg exercise because they require just enough stability to make them work, but not so much that you can’t accommodate a heavy load.

Bulgarian split squat

Bulgarian split squat

Example workout:

  1. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps per leg

To increase the difficulty, add dumbbells, a single weight plate or a kettlebell.

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