Runners need to strength train, period.
I keep saying over and over again.
The truth is, if you are a runner who doesn’t strength train, then you are missing out, big time.
So please do not neglect strength training.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Sticking to the regular running program, then having enough time to make the trip to the gym to strength train, is not always easy to pull off—especially if you just like the rest of us, stressed and pressed for time.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up strength training altogether.
Gyms are for Lackeys, Bodyweight Training is King
The truth is, you can strength train in the comfort of your home (or work office).
As long as you have enough space, a mat, you are good to go.
Not only is bodyweight training convenient, but it’s also ideal for building total body endurance, burning fat, improving mobility and flexibility, and helping you get into the best shape of your life without leaving the comfort of your home.
Also, bodyweight training stabilizes the joints, strengthens the connective tissues, and improve balance—all of which is vital for improving running endurance and preventing pain and injury.
That’s why today, dear readers, I decided to share with you a bodyweight no-equipment strength routine that can help you strengthen key running muscles so you can boost your running power and reduce the risk of injury.
I came up with this bodyweight workout routine for runners to complement your outdoor efforts.
So, are you excited? Then here we go
The Secret to Progress
The key to making a constant program with bodyweight training is to progressively overload your muscles in the same way you’d in the gym.
In other words, once a particular exercise becomes too easy, up the ante by either doing more reps, opting for an advanced variation, or adding weight (if possible).
1. Bodyweight Squat
Assume an athletic position with feet about shoulder width apart, while extending the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground.
Next, while sticking your butt out, and leaning forward at the waist, squat down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and/or both thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the back is straight, shoulders and chest upright throughout the movement.
Last up, return to starting position by driving through heels.
Perform 25 reps to complete one set. Repeat for three times.
Begin by laying on your stomach, then prop up on your elbows with feet slightly apart. The toes should be about hip distance apart with shoulders directly above the elbows.
Next, hold the plank position while keeping the entire body straight and core engaged the entire time.
Hold the pose for at least 90 seconds to complete one set. Repeat for three or more sets.
3. Walking Lunges
Assume an athletic position with your hands behind your head.
Next, while engaging the core and keeping your torso straight, step forward with your right leg until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, then push your right heel into the ground, and step forward to a standing position.
Repeat on the other side
Perform at least 12 reps on each side to complete one set. Aim for three sets.
4. Lying Superman
Lay down with the body flat on the floor, arms extended in front of your face.
Next, while engaging the core, raise both of your legs, chest, and arms off the ground, then hold it for a count of three while squeezing the lower back in the process.
Last up, lower back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Perform 16 reps to complete one set. Repeat for three times.
5. Dive Bomber Push-ups
Assume a downward dog position with the hands about shoulder width apart, and hips high in the air. Be sure that body looks like an inverted “V.”
Next, lower your chest to the ground by bending your elbows as you push forward to an upward dog position.
Hold for the count of three, then reverse the movement, until you are back to the starting position.
Do at least 10 reps to complete one set. Aim for three sets.
6. Russian Twists
Begin by laying on your back with the upper legs perpendicular to the floor and knees bent 90-degrees.
Next, while keeping the back straight and core engaged, twist your torso as far as you can to the right side, then twist back to the starting position, and repeat on the left side.
For more challenge, raise both of your legs off the floor and/or use weights for more resistance.
Do at least 16 reps on both sides to complete one set. Aim for three sets with good form.
7. Single Leg Lateral Jumps
Begin by standing on the side of a hurdle or a cone, then balance on one leg with the knee slightly bent.
Next, while keeping your back flat, jump to hop sideways over the cone. As soon as your foot touches the floor, rebound by jumping back to the starting position.
Be sure to continue hopping back and forth while engaging your core muscles and pushing explosively from your legs.
Aim for at least 12 to 16 reps on both legs. Do three sets.
8. Fire Hydrants
Assume an all fours position.
Next, while engaging your core and keeping the lower back as flat as possible, raise your knee directly to the outside as high as you can, then lower down into the starting position.
Perform 16 reps on each side to complete one set. Aim for three sets.
Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart
Next, lower down into a squatting position, placing both hands on the floor just outside of the feet. Then, kick both of your feet, so you end up in a push-up position.
Lower your chest to the floor, then press back, kick your feet back to the squatting position, then explosively jump up into the air while clapping the arms overhead. That’s one rep.
Aim for at least 25 burpees with good form to complete one set. Do three sets.