JC's Musings

Smart Strengthening

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An anonymous female competitive runner (5 km – 17.27; 10 Km – 36.12) and physiotherapist recently adopted wearable resistance (WR) into her training. She wanted to see if some WR specific drills and strengthening prior to her 2 x tempo sessions/week affected performance in any manner. The only changes to her program were these WR exercises as part of her warm-up:

·      Side lying hip abduction
·      Standing lateral leg swings
·      Standing lateral leg swings + shallow squat
·      A skips
·      B skips
·      Straight leg shuffles

She began with WR in March and during the 8 weeks the following changes were observed:
Hip abduction/adduction strength increased 24-33% = > than the 2-standard deviation (2SD) threshold for significant differences.
Single leg standing broad/horizontal jump leg power increased by 6-8% - > 2SD
Anon reduced her personal bests by -43 s for her 5 km time and, 1 min 6 s for her 10 km time.

Whether the WR was the cause of the improvement is difficult to say, but Anon says, “I honestly do feel as though it has made a big difference to my hip abductor strength and endurance … I have noticed an improvement in my form especially later in runs/sessions … so a small addition such as this can make quite a difference.”