What is Resistance Running?

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  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 12 February 2020
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Resistance running is a type of cardiovascular workout that is meant for intense fitness routines and calorie-burning workouts. This type of running conditioning is meant to improve performance on the athletic field and help to improve endurance during other workouts. Resistance running can be done with a variety of tools, including resistance bands, a resistance harness, a resistance parachute, or other accessories.

This type of conditioning is often performed by elite athletes and professional trainers and is meant to boost the muscles normally engaged while running. Whereas normal running provides only a cardiovascular workout, adding resistance forces the runner to work each muscle harder. It especially engages the leg muscles and the core muscles; during resistance running, the quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings are tested. Working these muscles can help to improve performance in running and jumping sports like basketball, football, and track and field.

One of the easiest ways to engage in resistance running is in a pool or other body of water. With the body submerged in a pool up to at least the waist, a normal running motion can be performed. Each lift of the legs and the arms is made more difficult because of the water. The water adds weight to each movement and require a person to breathe heavier, exert more energy, and burn more calories while training.


Resistance bands are also popular tools for use in resistance running. They allow a runner to tie the bands to a weight; in football, tying them to tackling dummies is a popular training method. This can also be done through a resistance harness, which is safely tied around the waist to allow the runner to engage the upper body as weight is dragged behind him. The resistance harness can also be tied to a parachute to add extra wind resistance to the process and increase the difficulty. Other specialized equipment can also be used in resistance running.

Resistance running will gradually allow a person to become a more natural runner without resistance. After the training, the muscles are conditioned to a more difficult workout because of the extra load; without the resistance, normal running becomes much easier. The method promotes endurance and will work to tone the main muscles of the legs and the core — the stomach and back. A resistance running routine is completed at much smaller lengths than a regular routine, but can gradually be increased to longer distances and times.


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