When you run, the posterior chain (which includes the traps, glutes, and hamstrings) propels you forward, explains New York City-based Precision Run coach Chelsea Aguiar. If those muscles are weak, the hip flexors and quads have to compensate, which can lead to pain and strength imbalances.
One of the best ways to bolster the posterior chain is through kettlebell swings, adds Colleen Conlon, a kettlebell specialist and group fitness instructor at Equinox locations throughout New York City. The move also helps you develop power so you can push off the ground more forcefully with every step. In turn, you’ll have more efficient strides and subject your joints to less stress, Aguiar notes.
The bottom line:
During every strength session, perform 10 to 12 kettlebell swings using a light weight. Twice a week is a good rule of thumb, Conlon says. Once you nail the hinge pattern, progress to a more intense 10-minute EMOM routine, completing 10 swings at the top of every minute.