Running requires pretty much every muscle of the body especially the lower body ones like the glutes, hamstrings etc.

Apart from that the shoulder, arms etc. also play an important role but running alone cannot make them stronger.

For that, you need to improvise and over the years rowing has proved to be more than just effective not only because it strengthens every body muscle but also because rowing machines come cheap and are easy to use.

So here’s more in detail how it really works and why it’s so effective.

Strengthens upper Back Muscles

As you move your hands and shoulders back while performing the motion, many of your shoulder and midsection muscles are involved in performing this task.

One of the muscles known as Trapezius is responsible for the backward movement of your arms and shoulders, which provides stabilization and this muscle controls your neck and shoulders. Trapezius takes the help of rhomboids, which are located between the shoulder blades and spine.

Latissimus Dorci is the muscles located under the armpits, which helps in pulling back of the upper arms while trapezius works the shoulders.

This muscles is basically an extension of your arm and is covered partially by the trapezius muscles and is known to cover the mid to lower back area.

upper-back

Leg Muscles

Hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus maximus are all part of the leg muscles which come into play during the ‘catch’. Hamstrings which are the most important leg muscles are used when you’re pulling your body back at the start of each rep.

legs

Quadriceps, located in the back of your upper legs, are worked when you are going to the starting position and your knees are bent. Gluteus Maximus, although worked less, is still used to complete the motion.

Arm Muscles

Once you pull the handle towards yourself, your triceps will start working as soon as you extend your arms.

Biceps are located in front of your upper arm and get worked on when you bend your elbow and are trying to complete the rowing stroke by pulling towards your midsection.

Deltoids are the most important muscles in your arms which connect your humerus, shoulder blade and collar bone to your other shoulder muscles. This muscle is mainly used when you are releasing the handlebars while performing the action.

Core Muscles

When you are growing and need the pressure to move from your legs to the handle of the machine, you would need to use your core muscles to avoid any kind of back injury.

Your core muscles include erector spinae, obliques, and abs. Obliques are your mid area muscles and provide stabilization to your body ensuring that it is straight and not twisting.

Your abs are constantly used and bending your body back and forth. Erector Spinae is one of the most important muscles in your lower back and is more prone to injuries if not used with caution.

It is worked on both when you bend and push your legs or bend and straighten your back.

Don’t forget to check out this unique workout too.

Failing to run a complete marathon isn’t a new issue and believe it or not is not often because of lack of training as we tend to put too much effort into that but mostly because of the lack of the right nutrition which ultimately results in the body burning out glycogen too quickly.

marathon-nutrition

Over the years the concept of a marathon or half marathon has gone significant changes. So here’s what you should be doing in 2017.

Find the right carbs

No, loading up on carbs isn’t the solution. In fact, latest studies suggest just the opposite. This is because on a low carb the diet the muscles turn into a fat burning force thus, in turn, improving endurance and performance.

There’s no specific quantity for each runner. This depends on your training routine. Maintaining a balance will keep you energetic and avoid fatigue. See image below for more details.

carb-guide

Keep check on the weight

Contrary to popular belief that a runner doesn’t rely on diet to keep tabs on weight, maintaining a diet and the right weight is not only important but also more challenging for any athlete because with more exercise your appetite tends to grow which neither can be ignored nor fulfilled with a double cheese burger.

A good diet should consist of regular meals with loads of veggies, nuts, fruits, lean meat, fish and some dairy combined with fatty foods though in lower quantities.

The magic potion

No, it’s not supplemented I’m talking about but rather half a liter of simple beetroot juice just a couple of hours prior to the race. This is because it is loaded with nitrates. These dilate blood vessels and get the blood pumping into the muscles which in turn improves performance.

Make sure you try out the impact of the juice on your performance during your training and avoid having it directly on race day. Here’s a must try the recipe.

Mid-race Hydration

One of the most important aspects of any marathon is the mid-race hydration and no constant intake will only make you stop for toilet breaks more often than required so stop gulping down water every 1 Km.

While you can also use sports drinks I would only advise it if it’s a brand you’ve tested during training and only drink it as and when the body asks for it.

Train while fasting

If you’re looking for other ways to turn your muscles into fat torching beasts then fasting workouts is my recommendation and no you do not need any sports drinks either during these training sessions.

That’s because sports drinks do not impact performance during short runs and in future can hinder the body’s fitness as they slow down glycogen burning process. Stick to them only for runs that last 2-3 hours.

 

 

Are you in love with wine? Well if you’re a runner who loves wine I have news that’ll have you all fired up for a run once again. I am talking about wine tasting races.

These races have grown in popularity and attract thousands of runners and wine lovers from across the country.

You’ll have the chance of running through mind-boggling landscapes and wineries. So here’s a list of races you should sign up for next.

Idaho half marathon

This race gets about 2000 runners every year and is held in the month of August. Though the place is famous for potatoes, wine is certainly the next big thing here. You have a variety of races to choose from depending on your level of expertise.

You’ll begin at the St Chappelle Winery and pass through various breathtaking orchids, vineyards and finally through the Snake River valley where you can enjoy a glass of wine and some music.

idaho

Fine Wine Half Marathon

With about 1500 racers finishing the race every year this half marathon is not one to be missed. It’s held in early July in Oregon.

Though the course may vary every year expect it to be slightly steep and while it does get challenging you’ll be awestruck by the scenic beauty around and wineries too but make sure you register ASAP for this one as the spots get filled up really quickly.

The best feature about this race is its unique medals that are shaped as wine labels.

fine-wine

Wineglass Marathon

This race is a New Yorkers favorite. Held late in October it gets the most finishers every year i.e. about 2500 due to a relatively smooth and flat course which ends at the Town Center where you’ll be treated to some local cuisine and wines.

Finishers are also presented with a wine bottle from the Pleasant Valley, one of the oldest vineyards in the region.

wineglass-marathon

Water to Wine Half Marathon

Held in the state of California in early August this race has had about 2000 finishers every year and runs through 3 top notch wineries finally ending at the Kendall Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens. This is where you’ll be treated to some local wine and food. The last year’s race was sponsored by Concept 2 (read reviews here).

The course is perfect for newbies as its mostly a smooth road and the wine stopper finisher’s medal is worth the effort but what stands out most is the custom labeled wine provided to finishers of the Run Wine Country Series.

watertowinemarathon

Harvest Stompede

This is a 5k race held in the heart of the Michigan Leelanau Peninsula which is covered with greenery and vineyards.

The race begins and finishes at the Ciccone Vineyard. You’ll come across fresh grapes along the course and at the end, you’ll get to take a plunge into a grape pool.

Competitors can later go visit the vineyards along the path and enjoy a sip or two. This race has held the end of September and has about 800 finishers.

harvest-stompede