How to Weight Train for a Marathon
Based on what can variations be chosen for the side plank?
Hi, my name is Michelle Orsi, I'm a physical therapist and personal trainer with performance physical therapy and integrated health in Westport, Connecticut. I'm here for About.com today to talk about weight training for a marathon.The first exercise that we're doing is called a plank; it's a great core exercise. So what Shelly's doing here is keeping her elbows under her shoulders, keeping her core nice and tight so her back is flat. If this feels like it's too easy after holding for thirty to forty seconds, you can try to lift one leg up, hold for about ten seconds, and then switch legs. Repeat the same on the other side, and this will work the glutes a little more as well.Another great exercise for marathon training is the bridge. Shelly here has a four pound ball in her weight, what she's going to do is lift it up as she comes into a bridge, keeping her hips level here, so not letting them drop. She's going to kick one leg out straight, hold that for about five seconds, really engaging the glutes and the core, and then switch legs. And repeat on the other side. And then after she's done one on each side she can lower her foot, lower her hips and repeat. If this feels like it's too easy you can increase the weight, or if it's too hard get rid of the weight in the hands.This next exercise is another great core exercise. Shelly has a dumbbell in each hand, what she's going to do is engage her core, keep her hips level as she reaches out with the opposite arm and leg. She's going to hold that for about five seconds, really engaging the glutes, and then relax back in, and repeat on the other side. This next exercise is called a side plank. I'm going to show you a few variations, which you can choose depending on your strength. Shelly's first going to demonstrate a regular side plank. So elbow is located right below the shoulder, lifting up, tightening up your side, and keeping a straight line down your body. Typically this is held from fifteen to thirty seconds. A variation on this is to then lift your top leg, and then lower back down, again maintaining that straight body line. Usually you do about eight to twelve of these repetitions.This next exercise is called the lateral band walk. It's very important for runners because it works your hip abductors on the side. What Shelly is going to do is put a band around her ankles, and she's holding a medicine ball in front of her. You can also do this with a dumbbell. She's going to complete a little squat and then sidestep to the right, maintaining her core, keeping her knees bent, and then return to the left. You can do this for about twenty feet down and back up to five times. To make this tougher, you can add stronger resistance bands, also put one above your knees, or increase the weight in your hands.Those were tips on weight training for a marathon. If you ever have any pain with exercise, please consult a medical professional. For more information on training for a marathon, please visit about.com.