Those gazellelike creatures who effortlessly zip through the park have a secret: strength training. Here’s why these five fast firmers work.Running Moves Tone Body Here's Why

  • Sculpted Upper Body: Yes, a buff back and arms are hot. Combined with a lower-body routine, they can also help you quicken your pace by 4 percent, research shows.
  • Hard Core: Tight abs improve posture. Why you care: An upright stance will help you easily pick up speed. Runners who did ab work for six weeks ran more efficiently, shaving 42 seconds off 5K times, a Barry University study reports.
  • Strong Hamstrings: What makes running really tough? Getting hurt. Shore up the muscles in the backs of your legs and you may prevent injury, studies suggest.
  • Toned Thighs: When distance runners added squats to their strength workouts, they could run 21 percent longer and were 5 percent faster, Norwegian researchers found.

�??Jessica Cassity for SELF

The Sports Medicine Weekly Podcast is the Sports Enthusiast's Official Resource for Fitness, Nutrition, Injury Prevention and Treatment

Podcast host, Dr. Brian Cole, an internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon, shares his clinical expertise to empower athletes and weekend warriors with knowledge on how to treat and prevent sports injuries and improve fitness.

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