Benefits of Strength Program for Middle aged men and women

The Benefits of a Strength Program for Middle Aged Men and Women – Including 8 Exercises!

Avoiding pain isn’t enough anymore, but what can be done? From playing with your kids to improving your golf swing, incorporating a strength program into your routine will have tremendous benefits on your life. You’ll feel better than ever and be able to go about your daily activities with ease. Be sure to try out some of the exercises, listed at the end, at home or at your local gym. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of participating in a strength program!

What are the benefits of a strength program?

Stronger bones

  • Adding stress to the bones can increase the density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight management

  • While you can lose, gain, or maintain weight by exercising, you can also improve your metabolism. Increasing the metabolism will help burn more calories throughout the day.

Enhanced Quality of Life

  • Strength training allows you to improve your ability to do everyday activities. It’s also a great way to prevent injuries from happening that could limit you at work, sport, or everyday life.

Chronic Condition Management

  • Conditions such as back pain, obesity, heart disease, and depression can all be managed through strength training.

Sharpen Thinking Skills

  • Regularly participating in strength training may help improve skills in older adults such as thinking and learning.

Unlock your body’s full potential and improve your flexibility and mobility with our Basic Flexibility and Mobility Program. Download it now and start your journey towards a healthier and happier you! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to move better and feel better. Click the button below to get your copy today!

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How do I get started with strength training?

  • Body weight – Try exercises without any weight or resistance, such as push ups, planks, squats, shoulder taps, or lateral lunges!

  • Resistance tubing – To add a little resistance without using weights, try a resistance band!

  • Free weights – Free weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells are great for those that can handle some weight before moving onto the weight machines.

  • Weight machines – Since there are different kinds of weight machines, please look into how to properly perform exercises on the machine to prevent injury from happening. Be sure to always have someone spotting you while using weight machines.


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Exercises Marathon Runners | Prep Performance Center

8 Warm Up Exercises For Runners Who Want To Run Faster, Longer And Avoid Injuries

A warm up is a vital part of preparation if you’re a long distance runner, marathon runner, or 5K weekend warriors.

A thorough warm up can drastically reduce your risk of injury, as well as improve your muscles’ ability to work at full capacity and enable you to run faster, and further.

So you can enjoy your runs without fear of picking up injuries that leave you unable to exercise.

And you can hit personal bests for speed, distance or both!

So, yes, warms up are pretty important, and if you take your running seriously, then you’ll want to make sure you’re warming up right.

Static Stretching Versus Dynamic Warm Up Exercises

A static stretch is what you’ve probably done a lot of, and involves stretching a muscle to near its furthest point and then holding that position for at least 15 or 20 seconds.

You might have done this type of warm up to stretch your calves, hamstrings, or glutes before you start your run.

However, dynamic warm up exercises are proven to be more effective and can help you run for longer as a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrated.

The Best Warm Up Exercises For Long Distance Runners

We work with lots of runners, from those who love a short fast 5K every morning, right up to professional athletes and endurance athletes, and have helped people avoid injuries, and improve their performance.

To help you, our expert team has put together the best warm up exercises for marathon runner, long distance runners and 5K early morning runners.

Before we get started – Every person is different, so you may have specific sports injuries you need to work around or focus more attention on problem areas such as your hips.

If you do, and you want some help understanding how to adjust this warm up routine to suit you specifically, our team can help you with a Free Peak Performance Assessment where we can discuss how you can maximize your running performance, minimize injuries and beat your previous best!

Warm Up Walk

Once you’ve laced up your running trainers, starting with a short 5-minute walk at a gradually increasing pace is a great way to ease your body into activity.

Exercise 1 – High Knees

For the first two exercises; high knees, and butt kicks, perform each exercise for 20 to 40 meters. These dynamic exercises are primarily targeting increasing blood flow to your leg muscles.

How To:

– Begin in a neutral standing position. Pick one leg off the ground, bending at the hip and knee and keeping the torso upright. Perform the same movement on the other leg. Focus on bringing your knees directly up towards the sky in quick succession during high knees.

Exercise 2 – Butt Kicks

How To:

– Begin in a neutral standing position. Keeping thighs pointing perpendicular to the ground, try and bring the heels of your feet towards your butt one heel at a time. When you feel comfortable with this movement, try and perform the movement more quickly.

Exercise 3 – Bounds

The next three exercises; bounds, skips for height, and skips for distance are explosive, activate fast-twitch muscle fibers and increase blood flow to your muscles overall.

How  To:

– Begin with feet shoulder width apart.

– Focus on pushing down through your legs, driving into the ground to propel your body forwards.

– You can swing your arms while simultaneously pushing through the ground to help propel your body forwards. Do not let your knees collapse inwards when initiating the movement and when completing the movement.

– Aim for a soft landing – do not slam your feet into the ground as that will put greater strain on your joints.

Exercise 4 – Skips For Height

How  To:

– Begin in neutral standing position.

– Start jogging slowly, then focus on driving both arms and one knee up towards the sky with one explosive movement.

– Try and land softly on the ground, and repeat this movement on your opposite side.

– Your body positioning should mimic the video game character “Mario” when he jumps into the air. The bigger your arm and knee drive, the higher you will get into the air.

Exercise 5 – Skips For Distance

How To:

– Begin in a neutral standing position.

– Start jogging slowly, then focus on driving your arms and one leg up towards the sky.

– As you start to come down, try kicking the leg that is in front backwards to give you more forward thrust.

– Land softly and repeat this movement on the opposite leg.

Exercise 6 – Lunge And Twist

The next exercise; the lunge and twist is a combination movement that will help strengthen your core and legs while also stretching out your hip flexors which you use to help pick your legs up when you run.

How To:

– Begin in neutral standing position. Bring one leg forward, bending at the hip and knee so that your thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is over your ankle. You want to have a 90 degree angle between your torso and thigh, and between your thigh and lower leg. Your back leg should also be bent at a 90 degree angle at the knee. Do not let this back leg touch the ground. When you are stable in this position, rotate towards the side of the leg that is forward.

Exercise 7 – Leg Swings

The penultimate exercise; leg swings are great for those with tight hamstrings and help bend the knee during runs.

Perform this exercise on both legs in two directions (forwards/backwards and across the body).

How To:

– Stand on one leg with your hips parallel to a wall/pole.

– Place your hands on the wall/pole for stabilization, and swing your free leg across your body. Perform this movement 10 times.

– Turn your hips so they are perpendicular to the wall/pole.

– Place one hand on the wall/pole for stabilization, and swing your free leg forward and backwards 10 times. Try and maintain an upright position when performing these swings.

Exercise 8 – Strides

The final exercise is strides, where you perform 6 x 100m strides to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers and increase blood flow to your muscles overall

How To:

– Begin in a neutral standing position.

– Slowly begin jogging at your normal pace, increasing your stride length until you have built up to 70-80% of your max speed. Maintain that 70-80% pace for the remainder of the 100 meters.

By following these dynamic warmup suggestions, you will notice a difference in your performance on your next long run, and should be able to improve your run distance, run time, and avoid injuries that stop you from exercise.

How Long Should I Warm Up Before Running?

The length of your warm up will depend on how long the run is going to be, how challenging the run will be, your injury history, and your existing fitness level.

However, if you aren’t sure, aim to spend 10-15 minutes doing your warm up before running.

How Can I Improve My Running Performance?

If you’re struggling to get faster, run longer, or feel like you’re constantly managing niggling injuries, our team is here to help you.

Right now, you can arrange one of our Free Peak Performance Assessments where you can speak to a member of our team 1-1, and learn about the most effective ways you can improve your sports performance without getting injured.

As there is extremely high demand at Prep Performance Centre in Chicago, we have to limit these, so call us on (773) 609-1847 or click the link below to avoid disappointment!

Arrange My Free Peak Performance Assessment

More Free Resources To Improve Your Runs

Read Our Blog – 6 Tips To Improve Sports Performance This Spring

Read Our Blog – How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running

Follow Us On Social Media – Prep Performance Center Facebook, Prep Performance Center Instagram, and Prep Performance Center YouTube


Off Season Training Program for the Basketball Youth Athlete

Off Season Training | The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) believes that a properly designed resistance training program can enhance sports performance, improve cardiovascular endurance, promote exercise habits, and improve the psychosocial well-being of youth. Current recommendations suggest 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity from a variety of activities. Therefore, during off-season training, it is important to participate in multiple activities. This program provides the variety essential to youth resistance training, while still focusing on the sport of Basketball. 

Resistance training is any type of exercise that causes the muscles to contract in order to increase strength against an external source (dumbbells, theraband, bodyweight, etc). With all of the exercises listed below, you can perform them with bodyweight only or you can add additional weights to increase the intensity including during the off-season training.

Sharing an article from about the 4 Types of Basketball Exercises during Off-Season Basketball Workout.

Some important guidelines to follow are: ensure the exercise environment is safe, start with a 5 to 10-minute dynamic warm-up, perform 1-3 sets of 6-15 repetitions for strength or 3-6 repetitions for the power of the exercises listed below, end with a cooldown and stretching.

Name of Exercise – Single-Leg Russian Dead Lift

Target Muscle Group

– Hamstrings and Glutes 


– Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent

– Without changing the bend in your standing leg, hinge at the hips to bring your torso in parallel to the floor

– Keep your head, torso, and opposite leg parallel to the floor 

– Pause before raising your torso back up to standing position and repeat


– Too much of an arch to your back while performing this exercise will cause an injury, try to keep a natural curve to your spine

– Make sure your knee does not fall in towards the midline, your knee should be stabilized and not move throughout the exercise 

Reason to be used in Therapy for Specific Sport

– SL RDLs are important for balance and endurance when standing on one leg in order to jump, pivot, or run.

Name of Exercise – Box Jumps  

Target Muscle Group

– Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes


– Perform a squat by bending your knees, keeping the weight in your heels, and chest up tall

– Jump straight up landing quietly on your heels on top of the box

– Take a second jump, this time landing on your toes back on the ground 

– Repeat


– Make sure your knees don’t go over your toes or fall in towards the midline, this exercise is similar to a squat jump

Reason to be used in Therapy for Specific Sport

– These are great for athletes involved in basketball due to the power required during rebounds or fast breaks. 

Name of Exercise – Lunges (Linear and Lateral)

Target Muscle Group

Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes


Forward lunge

– Take a big step forward with one leg, shift your weight forward and land on your heel.

– Bend your knees until they create a 90 degree angle.

– Push through your front heel to drive yourself back to the starting position 

Side Lunge

– Take a big step side with one leg, shift your weight towards that leg

– Keep your weight in the heels before pushing straight up back to the starting position 

– Repeat switching between the forward direction and to the side


Forward lunge

– Do not lean your torso or knees forward, keep your knees in line with your ankle when creating the 90 degree angle

Side lunge 

– Make sure your knees stay in line with your ankle and not falling in or out from the midline

Reason to be used in Therapy for Specific Sport

– Multidirectional lunges are dynamic so they build endurance during a low impact exercise. Basketball is a very dynamic sport, therefore it is necessary to build strength in multiple directions to be ready for sharp changes in direction.

Name of Exercise – Glute Bridge

Target Muscle Group

Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes


– Lie on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. 

– Lift your hips off of the ground 

– Pause at the top with your hips, knees, and shoulders all in a straight line

– Slowly return to your starting position and repeat


– Make sure you do not over arch your spine when you lift your hips, to prevent this look in the mirror to ensure you are making a straight line with your body 

Reason to be used in Therapy for Specific Sport 

– Glute bridges are important for hip mobility and strengthening your lower back 

Name of Exercise– Side Plank with Torso Rotation

Target Muscle Group

Core muscles and shoulder stability 


– Start with a side forearm plank, with your neck, torso, and legs all in a straight line

– Bring your top arm straight to the ceiling 

– Next, rotate one arm towards the bottom, pass your chest towards the back wall

– Return to the starting position and repeat


– Make sure the shoulder on the ground is in line with your elbow 

– Check yourself in the mirror to make sure your legs, torso, and head are all in line throughout the exercise 

Reason to be used in Therapy for Specific Sport

– Core stability is important throughout basketball to enable control over a specific position, especially during rotational movements. 


Are you ready to perform at your optimal level to your off season training program? Contact Doctor of Physical Therapy, Mary Kate Casey at our Chicago, IL clinic today! Through our movement analysis, we can assess hitting and throwing mechanics and help you improve performance and reduce your risk of injury. Give PREP Performance Center a call at 773-609-1847 for more information on our movement analysis program!

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