Unilateral Training from the Ground Up: A Runner’s Guide


If you’re a runner then you’ve probably heard that strength training is important in order to develop power to run faster and also vital for preventing injuries.

Even further, strength training that incorporates unilateral exercises is key.  Not only does working each side of the body help to identify imbalances but it also works to correct them.  

Exercises such as single leg deadlifts and single leg squats are recommended to help build that strength – which isn’t wrong but the problem is that most runners can’t just DO those single leg exercises without working up to them. 

Most runners have strong legs but a weak core or upper body which inhibits them from performing these exercises properly.  The fact is that you NEED to intelligently progress these exercises so you can build the core and upper body strength to be able to execute them properly without risking injury.  And you do that by working your way from the ground up. 

Building Unilateral Strength from the Ground Up: A Runner's Guide

While I have gone through many of these progressions in various articles on here, it dawned on me while at the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Master Trainer Summit this past weekend that there would be a benefit to providing the information in a more organized way.

For those of you who have been long time readers, you know that I use the DVRT System, which is a progressive system, in my own training and with my clients.  The DVRT System works to build strength starting with the most stable position and working toward an unstable position.  It’s also focuses on connecting muscles from top to bottom and making them work together helping to build strength, endurance and flexibility.  

You might also like:  Wild Workout Wednesday: #NoExcuses, Get Your Squat On!

It all sounds so simple but the truth is that we are all guilty of trying to do something more advanced than we are ready for.  Single leg squats and deadlifts are super challenging – performing them and performing them well means you have to progress properly.  

So, over the course of the next several weeks (and perhaps even months), I will be sharing weekly articles on pretty much everything you need to know about building unilateral strength from the ground up. 

Starting next week, I will share key exercises starting on the ground and explaining how to perform them and incorporate them into your training.  Not only will they help you to build the unilateral strength you need to do more advanced exercises but they will also help to identify and correct muscle imbalances making for a stronger, faster and more resilient runner! 

Unilateral Training Series:

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You might also like:  DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Cone to Cone Carry Finisher

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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