If you are a runner and have been working hard to increase your mile pace or simply boost your short sprint speed, strength training could be all that you need. Strength training has been a go-to program for athletes in endurance sports such as rowing, cycling, swimming, and skiing. There are lots of benefits attached to strength training such as fat loss which in the end prove beneficial for your running career. There is a possibility you have been in a CrossFit training program, and you have not as yet realized the benefits that others are speaking about. Well, it is one thing to do strength training in CrossFit and totally another to do the right kind of CrossFit training. Protocol matters and you need to get it right. Among the reasons you should embrace strength training in your running career include: Enhanced Speed Research proves it that strength training can make you faster. It doesn’t matter whether you run short distance races or you were a long-distance runner, one of the things you will experience when you start strength training is that your pace will pick up gradually. Strength training improves leg strength and your body’s efficiency to utilize oxygen and energy. The main goal of endurance training is to enhance the ability of your body to properly utilize oxygen. This utilization is measured by the maximal oxygen uptake also known as VO2 max. If you can decrease the oxygen your body takes in at certain speeds, you will be able to maintain a fast pace for a much longer period. A Better Final Kick Strength training helps you generate more force every time you kick off the ground. When this is combined with efficient usage of energy and a better running economy, your final kick will be amazing. Strength training achieves this by increasing the proportion of your type IIA muscle fibers which fatigue much slowly and have the capacity to produce a burst of speed and power. Decreased Body Fat Through strength training programs, your body will lose fat and become lean. Body fat slows your metabolic rate and produces some substances that increasingly make you fatter such as adipokines and aromatase. On the other hand, muscle and lean tissue enhance metabolism and this, in turn, makes you a better runner. Experience and elite runners will tell you that CrossFit workouts which mainly consist of high-intensity CrossFit training are the go-to for fat loss. A Better Body Composition Research has proven that if you properly program through strength training, you can get in shape and gain muscles. The major concern among competitive endurance athletes is that strength training may make them gain body mass which is detrimental to optimal performance. However, to counter this argument is the fact that strength training enables your body to gain muscle mass, but in the legs which make you a much faster runner. To add to the above, strength training is one of the CrossFit exercise routines that will most certainly go a long way in helping you to get rid of chronic pain and nagging injuries. It will also assist you in correcting structural imbalances which have largely been classified as precursors to injuries.
If you walk into any CrossFit gym, you will see lots of Olympic barbells, medicine balls, rowing machines, pull-up bars, and differently sized kettlebells. Most workouts in the gym rely on the kettlebell, and this is why it is one of the most fundamental tools in the box. If you have a home gym but do not have access to some of the equipment modern gyms have, you can still bank on the kettlebell to do lots of workouts. Swings Up First CrossFit coaches emphasize that beginners in kettlebell workouts should learn the swing first. The reason behind this is that it forms the foundation to all kettlebell programs. A majority of CrossFit workouts include swings. The normal swings take the kettlebell up to the eye level and then stops. However, with CrossFit workouts, you do what is called the American swing. This involves lifting the kettlebell to an overhead position and then using your lats to stop it from slipping too far overhead. War of WODs Workout of the day refers to how CrossFit enthusiasts plan their training. Every time a new workout is published on CrossFit, competitors the world over aim to set their best times on the routine. Some of the workouts are so famous that they immediately turn into benchmark workouts and are included in CrossFit games. One of the popular benchmark workouts is Helen which comprises a 400-meter sprint followed by 21 swings using a kettlebell weighing 24 Kgs and after that 12 pull-ups completed in 3 reps. There is another similar kettlebell only WOD which comprises five rounds of 4 muscle ups, eight kettlebell swings, ten kettlebell presses done with each arm and lastly 12 knees to elbows. If you are daring enough, you can go for the Zombie Complex consisting of push presses, kettlebell cleans, front squats, lateral hops, walkouts, all of which are interspersed with 200 meters sprints. Super Substitutions Even if a CrossFit workout demands an exercise to be performed using a barbell, you can modify it using kettlebells. The best way to do this is by substituting barbell cleans with kettlebells. You can also do this for snatches, thrusters, as well as high pulls. Beginners in CrossFit may find this an easier option because barbell Olympic lifts can be notoriously difficult to learn. Readiness for CrossFit In the event you assess yourself, but find it rather hard to go full throttle into a CrossFit exercise routine, learning basic moves to add to your training can benefit you immensely. Some of the moves you may want to consider include kettlebell clean and jerks, jump squats, swings with a heavy bell, and snatches. You can group your kettlebell workouts into a circuit format and then time yourself so that you can give your workout a CrossFit feel.
In the CrossFit training niche, dips are considered to be one of the compound exercises which can be applied to triceps training. The reason why triceps are so strategic is that they take up approximately two-thirds of your arm and therefore important targets for anyone looking at improving the overall size of their arms. Being a compound exercise, triceps dips involve the shoulders, chest, and triceps. However, you should mindfully focus on the triceps when performing the workout. There are many training tutorials and literature on how to perform triceps dips the right way, but somehow athletes tend to veer off the mark. Below are some of the common mistakes athletes make in this Crossfit exercise. Confusing Triceps Dips with A Chest Dip Just like the deadlift and the squat CrossFit exercise, the dip is a compound movement that can be oriented in different positions as you target various muscles. Depending on how you position yourself, you can either target the chest or the triceps. For instance, when you lean slightly forward, your target is the chest. On the other hand, if you position yourself bolt upright, all the tension will be placed on your triceps. It is therefore important to be mindful and practice your positioning so that you target the right area. Panic When the Workout Gets Too Hard Triceps dips is indeed a difficult CrossFit exercise therefore when the going gets tough, do not panic. The difficulty arises from the positioning, the zero lower body stabilization, and isolation of the triceps. In order to regress the movement, you can enlist machine assistance to help bring you upwards through the movement and stabilize. The alternative is to use a bench to practice the triceps dip movement before progressing to the dip bars. Complacency Upon Mastering the Exercise When athletes have mastered a particular workout, there is a tendency to become complacent and even forget the method of progressive overload. Progressive overload is a key component for those who want to stimulate and grow their muscles. Various methods such as more sets, added resistance, decreased rest time, and increased eccentric times make the workout harder each week and hence progressively overloading it. Performing Triceps Dips Too Quickly Just like any exercise, when you do a workout too quickly, chances of you recording progress are minimal. In order to develop working muscles, you require constant tension which is enhanced through continuous overloading of the muscle at least on a weekly basis. To increase the time and attention, you need to slow down your exercises and apply a sufficient speed instead of performing the exercise very fast. Lastly, going too high or too low can potentially strain your shoulder joint and cause some shoulder injuries including rotator cuff tears during the CrossFit exercise routine. To prevent this from happening, you should keep an eye on your arms and ensure a 90-degree angle is generated about your forearm and upper arm.  
Apart from helping you to develop explosive strength, power clean has lots of other benefits in store for you. First things first, power cleans are not your ordinary CrossFit workout; it can get a little tricky in doing it right. It is therefore recommended that you learn how to do it properly so that the below benefits can be yours for keeps. Muscle Development Technically, power cleans are categorized as a shoulder exercise in the Crossfit workout, but they can go a long way in building up your deltoids. Because they hit your posterior chain hard, they develop your leg muscles including glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Also, the power clean technique targets the lower and upper back muscles as well as the traps. Explosive Power Power clean is a lifting exercise that can significantly improve your explosiveness quite fast. With the first pull portion during CrossFit workout, you can rapidly build explosiveness. The rest of the power clean motion aids in building speed and strength which gives you additional power and explosive potential. Burning Body Fat If you are looking ways to burn calories and body fat, power cleans can be tremendous in helping you achieve this. You will gradually develop a lean physique which includes impressive muscle size and definition. One of the things you must bear in mind though is that power cleans are best undertaken in low reps. When you insist on high reps, you will deteriorate your form. A Full Body Workout Power clean is an Olympic-style CrossFit exercise routine which demands coordination from every single muscle group in the body. As you continue exercising, your muscle density and functional strength will improve especially on the shoulders and posterior chain including the glutes, back, hams, calves, and traps. Many pieces of training and athletes have found this exercise attractive due to the advantage it gives them over the rest. The first half of power clean is similar to that of a deadlift and needs intense muscle contractions. The advantage of this is that it trains your explosiveness right from the ground which is helpful for any fast-paced sport such as football, basketball, or running. The second part of the power clean movement is useful for athletes who require quick fit movement. When executing this workout, you will be required to hold on to some heavyweights at extremely high velocities, and this will undoubtedly enhance your grip strength. Therefore, whether you are looking for a great exercise to add to your CrossFit workout of the day or a highly effective sport-specific exercise, power cleans can’t lead you the wrong way!