Found on RunnersWorld.com
Runners are often focused on moving faster. But when it comes to strength training, slowing down can be beneficial. There are three ways to work a muscle: isometric (no movement), concentric (contracting the muscle), and eccentric (releasing the muscle). Eccentric strength training involves slowing down the release of a muscle, which puts the muscle under a different kind of stress. By challenging the muscles in this way, they get stronger and become more resistant to damage, says Juan Gonzalez, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., C.P.T., an assistant professor in the Department of Health & Kinesiology at the University of Texas—Pan American. As you do the following exercises, pay attention to pacing: One part of the movement should be done slowly.
1. One-Legged Squat
Why: Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core.
To Do: Place a stability ball between a wall and the small of your back. Lift your left leg and slowly squat down until your right leg is at a 45-degree angle. Stand back up at normal speed. Do three sets of six reps per leg.
2. Hamstring Curl
Why: Works the hamstrings.
To Do: Lie on the ground with your knees bent 90 degrees and a light medicine ball between your feet or ankles. While keeping your torso on the ground, squeeze the ball and slowly lower your legs (shown above). Return to start at normal speed. Do three to four sets of six to eight reps.
Why: Strengthens the core.
To Do: Start in a plank position with elbows and forearms resting on the ground. Lift your butt as high as possible toward the ceiling at normal speed. Then slowly release back into a plank position. Do three to four sets of six to eight reps.
4. Leg Balance
Why: Works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core while boosting balance.
To Do: Place your right foot on the flat side of a Bosu Trainer and the toes of your left foot touching the ground. Lift your left knee slowly up. Balance for a second, then lower back down at normal speed. Do three to four sets of six reps on each leg.
5. Hip Abduction
Why: Targets the abductors.
To Do: Attach one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object and the other end to your right leg. Walk sideways away from the band’s anchor until you feel resistance. Bring your right leg toward your left leg at normal speed. Then slowly let your leg move back out. Do four sets of 25 reps on each leg.