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i am wondering whether upper body strength is a must for runners. does it help you run, or slow you down? how much upper body strength is too much for running? should your upper body be equal in strength to your lower body? any help on upper body strength for running would be great!!

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Upper body strength definitely helps your running. Especially your arms, the arms are what really can carry you (or can't carry you, if they're not strong enough) in the race. I've found that out the hard way, my arms have been fatiguing A LOT lately. Strong pecs and a strong core are also very important though.

I would think that as long as the strength your putting on in your upper body is more definition than mass there wouldn't be a limit.
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Good advice, I agree.
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I think staying physically strong in the upper body can really only help you. It'll make you stronger, and therfore, faster.

The key I think is to work on maintaining strength and endurance, not going for size.

If you are trying to pack on bulk, to look like Hanz and Franz, that could slow you down, just from too much weight. But for runners, it's a good idea.
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it depends on your running distance i'd say. for short sprints it is extremely important. those arms propel you far, add inertia and help in the quick start.

in middle distances they have less importance BUT are still needed for final kicks and in XC to help pull you up hill.

the long distances they lose thier importance for the most part, however it is still good to have some so you can pull uphills as well as a pull away/final run.


As my profile states i am a inline skater primarily and thier the arms swing is definantely more noticed. and you better belive i believe in arm, chest, abdominal, back,training as well as worrying about legs.

what distance are you running?
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DEFINITELY!

My form has been c**p so the last few practices the coaches worked almost specifically on my form the whole time using weights, strides, weighted vests, etc, and lots of pushups and situps to help my strength as well.

And what do you know...a guy who wouldve normally burned me in a sprint (he's short distance and im long) I stayed with the whole time. :D
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I believe that some toning and conditioning with weights does help you with your stamina, endurance and keeps you from injury. However, I'm not a pro and cannot tell you if this is the truth for the ones who really pull good times out there. I can only speak from my experience and say that my woes have only been related to shin splints and post marathon aches. Other than that, I've always felt fairly strong and able to recover quickly from runs...soreness...etc.
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You arms are a part of your overall running motion, right? Only makes sense that they are almost as important as your legs. Back in HS CC we spent 3-4 days a week in the weight room and did NO leg work. Made sense to me then. I should really get back into that!
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I love lifting, and I have quite a bit of upper body muscle on me and I found it only helps, one guy on my cc team is really ripped and he ran one of the fastest miles in the state last year. imo gives me self confidence- I just feel stronger running if i'm strong everywhere. I have gained about 10-15 pounds muscle in the last 4-5 months and I haven't noticed any problems
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