7 Best Strength Training Exercises For Runners
Strength training can help runners improve their running economy, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance overall performance. Running is also a great cardiovascular endurance exercise that will your overall health and mood. The best part is all you need is a pair of great running shoes to get started. Some of the best strength training exercises for runners include squats, lunges, deadlifts, hip thrusts, calf raises, planks, and push-ups.
It is important to focus on exercises that target the major muscle groups used in running, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core, and to incorporate both bodyweight and resistance exercises into a well-rounded strength training program. Proper strength training exercises can also help reduce the risk of injury when running.
Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. They help to develop lower body strength and power, which can translate to improved running performance.
To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward, and your core engaged. Slowly lower your body by bending your knees and hips, as if you are sitting down into a chair. Keep your chest up, and your weight spread throughout your foot, then return to the standing position.
If you’re a heavier runner, squats are even more important to help you build and maintain the strength needed for long runs.
To perform a lunge, start with your feet hip-width apart, and then step forward with one foot, keeping your weight spread throughout your foot. Bend your front knee, keeping it over your ankle, and lower your back knee toward the ground. Return to the standing position and repeat on the other leg.
Deadlifts are posterior chain exercise that targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. They help to improve running power and speed, and can also help to reduce the risk of injury.
To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and your toes pointed straight ahead. Keeping your chest up and your back flat, bend forward at the hips and lower the weight down toward the ground. Keep your knees slightly bent and your weight on your mid-foot. Return to the standing position.
Hip thrusts are a glute-focused exercise that can help runners improve their running form and speed. They also help to reduce the risk of injury.
To perform a hip thrust, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place a weight across your hips and lift your hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes as you lift. Lower your hips back down.
Kettlebell Swings are also a great alternative!
Calf raises help to strengthen the muscles in the lower leg, improving running form and reducing the risk of injury.
To perform a calf raise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift up onto the balls of your feet, then lower yourself back down.
Planks are a core-strengthening exercise that helps runners improve their stability and reduce the risk of injury.
To perform a plank, start in a push-up position, with your arms straight and your shoulders over your wrists. Keep your core engaged and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for several seconds and repeat for several sets.
Push-ups are an upper body and core exercise that can help runners improve their upper body strength and posture.
To perform a push-up, start in a plank position, with your arms straight and your shoulders over your wrists. Lower your body down toward the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Push back up to the starting position and repeat for several sets of reps.
Wrapping It Up
Always use proper form when performing these strength training exercises for runners, and gradually increase the weight and intensity as you get stronger. Incorporating these exercises into your training program can help you become a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner.
Whether you’re a beginner runner or a professional, these exercises will aid your potential to be better.