MIKE DONAVANIK PROVIDES A 10-MINUTE ARM-BURNING UPPER BODY WORKOUT in a shape.com article. The impression might be that Donavanik has a less than serious approach to strength building. After all he is appealing to exercisers who cannot or do not wish to perform pushups, in “The Challenging At-Home Arm Workout Without Any Push-ups” and indicates light or medium dumbbell weights are to be used. Donavanik’s introduction to the session mentions looking good as the reason to make it through this session. The trainer promises all that is needed is 10 minutes of continuous effort but ends by saying it could be repeated another time or two in the article to create a 20 to 30-minute session.
Actually, this workout is not an even-up substitute for pushups, which target the chest (pectoralis major), the front part of the shoulder (anterior deltoids), and triceps, and use the biceps, core muscles (rectus abdominus, obliques, serratus anterior, erector spinae), and thigh muscles (quadriceps) for stabilization. The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises indicates that 75% of body weight is lifted in the course of performing a pushup, far more weigh than light dumbbells.
However, Donavanik’s routine does target biceps (and triceps), which many runners don’t bother to build. An article from RunnersWorld.com (RW) by Samantha Lefave, “Why Runners Need Strong Arms,” also suggests performing a 10-minute workout several times a week. Not to tone muscle for appearance sake or endurance, but to build overall body strength that improves bone density and helps with injury prevention. The difference in approaches taken by Donavanik versus the RW article centers on amount of weight and number of repetitions. Lighter weights and numerous reps that will increase endurance are suggested by Donavanik. Heavy weights lifted to exhaustion that will build stronger muscles, are suggested by RW.
Choose the approach that fits your needs and state of mind. If not quite mentally or emotionally ready to ‘go heavy’, start with an endurance workout and follow the Donavanik video. Or, using the same exercises, test yourself with bigger weights, as instructed in the RW article, and concentrate on achieving perfect form with fewer repetitions.
If worried about bulking up with heavy weight work, check out the video of elite marathoner Jordan Hasay* embedded in the RW article. She is performing a compound exercise: single-leg Romanian deadlift + alternate side bent over row with knee lift. No chance she would be described as bulked-up.
Inspired by the Hasay video to attempt lifting for strength? I am.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*At the time this post was written the 2019 Chicago Marathon had not yet been contested. Good Luck to Hasay and all other competitors!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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