Get Faster and Build Muscle With This Summer Lift-Run Plan

Get Faster and Build Muscle With This Summer Lift-Run Plan

Running and weight training have an uneasy relationship. Pavement pounders are loath to lift heavy, fearing weight gains will slow them down—even if they’re adding muscle. That’s a strategic error.

“For runners, dedicated strength work can help with maintaining proper mechanics, especially when they begin to fatigue,” says Terra Castro, founder of Detroit Body Garage and a former professional triathlete. “Having a powerful arm drive helps when legs get tired. And without a strong core, posture suffers.” Run coaches have long recommended bodyweight strength moves like squats, lunges, and bridges to bolster glutes, hamstrings, and leg muscles to fend off injury. But it might be time to go heavy.

To that end, Castro created a lower body- and core-focused training plan that’s more challenging than the usual set of lunges and squats often prescribed to runners. Gym rats should try … Read the rest

Power Up Your Pullups With This Small Tweak

Power Up Your Pullups With This Small Tweak

Your littlest digit is key to eking out more pullups, explains Joel Sanders, director of adult training at EXOS in Phoenix.

Pinkies are the little engine that could. Though small, they can contribute as much as 33 percent of grip strength. As a result, for any exercise or movement that requires gripping—pullups, triceps dips, kettlebell swings, dumbbell or barbell work—over­looking the pinky is a mistake. The way to “activate” the pinky is through a technique called irradiation. It’s when the chain of muscles and nerves that run from the hand, up the sides of arms, through the shoulders, and all the way to the neck, are contracting to create force. Here’s how to feel it out. Using your dominant hand, grab the wrist of the nondom­inant side. At first, squeeze only with your thumb through ring fingers. Relax, then squeeze again, focusing on the pinkie. You should … Read the rest