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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > March 2019 - In Your Stride > Strong arm tactics

Strong arm tactics

Strong arms are crucial: building strength in our upper bodies improves our arm swing, which in turn improves cadence, says exercise scientist Anne-Marie Lategan

Strong arms not only affect how fast your feet turnover, they also help with maintaining good form. The more upright and stable your running posture is, the more economically you run, increasing your endurance. Increased strength will also reduce your risk of injury. You don’t have to sweat it at the gym lifting heavy weights, though. Just 10 minutes of strength training two or three times a week will have a significant impact.

► Warm up

Although you may be focusing on training your arms, you still need to warm up your whole body. Swing your arms in small circles and slowly increase the circle size as well as change direction, including one arm forward, one arm backward at the same time. Perform 10 jumping jacks followed by running on the spot for three minutes. Alternatively do this exercise routine after a run.

► Sets and reps

Perform two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. Aim to do the workout at least twice a week as part of your running programme.

► Cool down

Ensure that you use the stretching exercises to relax, improve your posture and cool down before you get on with your busy day.


Not working hard enough? Then try tempo training. The technique will stay the same, but instead use three counts to perform the first part of the exercise. Then hold the end position for one second before using three counts to return to the starting position. You can also work harder by increasing the intensity (add more weight) or adding an additional set.

Bicep curl

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About Women’s Running

We’ve taken a running jump into spring with our March issue, which is packed with inspirational ideas on how to go further, get fitter and run faster now that the worst of the cold weather is behind us. We’ve been out on the trails discovering new ways we can inject a bit of wild into our running: from fastpacking to swimruns there are plenty of ways to embrace your inner child and find new ways to love our beloved running. And if that wan’t enough to inspire you to leave the tarmac behind, read our interview with Emily Scott: last summer she climbed 282 Munros (that’s a mountain to the non-Scottish among you) unsupported, in one continuous round. And she’s on the lookout for her next adventure! We’ve also included the Big One: your training guide to getting round a marathon in tip top shape – whether it’s your first marathon, or simply your latest stab at a PB, we’ve got the plan to give you a strong finish. Our extended workout this issue focuses on arms: strong arms are vital for a strong stride, so we’re working on getting rock-hard triceps and biceps to pump our legs. And while we know that running is good for ourselves, did you know you could help others by putting one foot in front of the other? We investigate England Athletic’s Mental Health Champions campaign to support good mental wellbeing through running, and find out how we can get involved at a local level.