Hoping the lifting people are still around...
I have a ridiculously stupid question for you all. How did you learn to lift? I've been contemplating starting something like Stronglifts to maybe help my injury prone runner self be less injured, but have no idea how to start. Never learned to use free weights, don't have any athletic friends.
Help? I'm super intimidated by all the big actually strong guys at the gym.
I am also quite intimidated by the giants in the weights section. I also didn't/don't know anything about strength training, but I have learned a lot from my husband, who did a bunch of lifting when he was in high school football.
What kind of injuries are you looking to avoid? I'm guess knee, hips, and ankles if you're a runner, right? If that's the case I can tell you what I do, which is strength training for mountaineering. It focuses on a lot of core and leg strength. The book that I reference is called Training for the New Alpinism
. It has really useful figures illustrating proper form and gives a general plan for what to do. I'm not suggesting that you read it, but basically you'll find everything that I'm writing below in that book.
For legs I typically do-
1) step ups-for quad, ankle, and knee strength. start without weights, then once you can do it with good form, start carrying hand weights.
2) squats-great for core and quad strength. I had to start with just my body weight (no weights) and now I'm adding in a bar that I stabilize on my shoulders. I'm only doing 30 lbs right now but once I can do 45 lbs I'm going to graduate to the squat rack.
3) Front squat lunges--you can add hand weights once you're ready.
For general core I do-
1) Russian twists - holding a 20 lb dumbbell for extra resistance
2) 3-point plank (you can put weights on your back or do other variations when you're strong enough)
3) side plank
5) hanging leg raises
6) hip extension & abduction (it's also called "Hitler's dog"--see here: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/arti ... e-athletes
7) full situps--I do these occasionally because sometimes my back hurts
For upper body/core I do-
1) full pushups (I had to start with counter pushups, then progressed to knee pushups, and now I can finally do full ones)
2) assisted pullups (before pullups I did lat pulldowns)
For knee/hip strength I do resistance band work at home. I have kneecaps that kind of turn in and it's given me a lot of pain when I run. I went to PT for awhile and they suggested these to help fix my knees. One is basically putting a resistance band around your ankles and crab walking back and forth. Another is putting the band around a table leg, looping the other end around your ankle and gently pulling your leg to the back, to the front, and to the side. It's exhausting but it works! You can google it to visualize proper form. It's recommended for runners and people at risk of tearing their ACL (like soccer players).
I don't actually do a lot of stuff on the weights machines and I don't deadlift. I don't actually thing you have to do that if you want to get strong for running/hiking. I'd like to add that in eventually but the stuff I listed above already takes a lot of my gym time!