Prevent Running Injuries with These 5 Hip-Strengthening Exercises For Runners

If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate hip-strengthening exercises to boost your running game and keep those pesky injuries at bay, you’ve landed in the right spot!

Today, we’re diving headfirst into the world of hip strength training for runners, and trust me, it’s going to be a game-changer.

Here’s the lowdown on what’s coming your way:

  • We’ll break down the hip muscles so you know exactly what we’re working with.
  • Discover how these hip muscles play a crucial role in your running performance.
  • Uncover the fascinating connection between hip muscles and running injuries (yes, we’ve got some science-backed insights for you).
  • Get ready for the main event – the top 5 exercises that’ll have your hip strength and mobility skyrocketing.
  • Plus, a whole lot more to keep you informed and inspired.

Excited? Well, let’s lace up those running shoes and dive in.

Anatomy of The Hips Muscles

Your hips aren’t just there to look good in yoga pants; they’re true workhorses. Nestled in your upper legs, the hip allows  you to strut your stuff, climb stairs, grab that fallen pen, or gracefully park yourself on the couch.

But here’s the real star of the show: the hip joint! It’s a nifty ball-and-socket setup, and it’s key to everyday movements.

Every time you take a stroll, conquer a staircase, reach for your dropped phone, or elegantly plop onto your favorite chair, your hip joint and its trusty muscle squad swing into action.

And guess what? We’ve got more hip intel coming your way, so stay tuned

The most important muscles of the hips include :

The Hip Flexors

The hips flexors play a vital role in the grand scheme of things. They’re like the supporting cast in your body’s blockbuster film, making sure everything runs smoothly.

And consist of five muscles:

  • Rectus Femoris
  • TFL (Tensor Fasciae Latae)
  • Iliacus
  • Psoas
  • Sartorius

These hip flexors are the MVPs behind knee elevation and keeping your pelvis and legs in perfect harmony during your runs.

Think of them as your body’s own mechanics for knee operations. But here’s the kicker: weak hip flexors could spell trouble, with the dreaded runners’ knee and iliotibial band syndrome lurking in the shadows


The adductors are responsible for pulling your legs inward and orchestrating those nifty cross-body moves.

And consist of the following:

  • Adductor Brevis
  • Adductor Longus
  • Adductor Magnus
  • Pectineus
  • Gracilis

Think of them as your body’s graceful dance troupe, ensuring your legs move seamlessly in any direction you desire.

These performers add finesse to your legwork and contribute to the harmony of your hip movements. Without them, things might get a bit clunky on the dance floor—or, should we say, the running track?


The Glutes are the powerhouse behind your backside and so much more!

Meet the Gluteal squad:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae

These muscles are your body’s true all-stars, responsible for various functions, from extending your hip and moving your leg out to the side to ensuring your leg’s external rotation.

The Importance of hip Muscles While Running

Let’s dive deeper into the critical role of hip muscles while running.

Efficient and Injury-Free Running:

Whether you’re a casual jogger or a marathon enthusiast, strong and functional hips are your secret weapon. They keep you in the game, preventing those dreaded injuries.

Stabilizing Powerhouses:

These muscles aren’t just for show; they’re the guardians of your running stance. They ensure each leg is rock-solid during every step, maintaining stability in the process.

The Perils of Weak Hips:

Now, imagine weak hip flexors crashing this party. Your performance takes a nosedive, your form goes haywire, and injuries gatecrash your running journey.

Studies linking hip weakness to running injuries

There’s some compelling research highlighting the connection between hip weakness and running injuries.

Study 1: Hip Rotation and Iliotibial Band Syndrome

This study, published in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, unveils a crucial link. It suggests that when hip rotation and inward collapse occur excessively during the gait cycle, the risk of Iliotibial Band Syndrome shoots up.

Study 2: Weak Hip Muscles and Lower Extremity Injuries

In another study featured in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, the evidence becomes even more compelling. It draws a strong association between weak hip muscles, including the abductors, adductors, and flexors, and a range of overuse injuries in the lower extremities.

Study 3: Runners’ Knee and Weak Hip Muscles

The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine presents evidence that links overuse injuries like Runners’ Knee to weaker hip muscles. Specifically, the hip abductor, adductor, and flexor muscles were weaker in individuals with these injuries compared to a control group. This underscores how critical strong hips are in preventing injuries like Runners’ Knee.

Study 4: Pelvic Instability and Runner’s Knee

Another study published in Medicine & Science in Exercise & Sports delves into pelvic stability and its role in Runner’s Knee among women. It was discovered that women who developed Runner’s Knee exhibited greater pelvic instability in their gait compared to those who remained injury-free. This insight highlights the significance of hip and pelvic stability for injury prevention.

Study 5: Hip Strength Training for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The study by Frederickson et al. focused on 24 distance runners dealing with Iliotibial Band Syndrome, a common issue among runners. They examined the hip abductor strength in the injured limb compared to the healthy leg and a control group.

Notably, they found a 2 percent strength deficit in the Gluteus medius of the injured limb. However, after undergoing a six-week strength training program, 22 out of 24 injured runners were able to return to training with minimal or no symptoms. It underscores the potential of targeted hip strength training in rehabilitating running injuries.

The Evidence is Overwhelming!

It’s clear that hip strengthening exercises should be a priority for every runner to prevent injuries and enhance performance. Ignoring hip strength can lead to a host of problems that no runner wants to deal with.

The great news is that there’s a wide array of effective hip-strengthening exercises available. These exercises are a proactive approach to injury prevention and overall improved running performance.

By dedicating time to strengthening your hip muscles, you’re investing in your long-term running success.

Remember, once your hip strength is improved, you’re not only less likely to experience pain and injuries, but you’ll also find your running form and efficiency improving.

5 Hip Strengthening Exercises For Runners

Consistency is key when it comes to strengthening your hip muscles. Starting with one set of 8 reps and gradually progressing to three to four sets of 12 to 15 reps is an excellent approach.

It allows your body to adapt and grow stronger over time, reducing the risk of injury and improving your running performance.

Remember, patience and persistence pay off when it comes to fitness and strength training. Keep up the good work, and you’ll undoubtedly notice significant improvements in your hip strength and overall running abilities in just a few weeks

Hip Strengthening Exercise – 1. Single-Leg Bridge

Targeted Muscles: Glutes, Lower back, Calves, Quads, and Hamstrings.

Proper Form

Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms pressed against the floor by your sides.

Then, lift your hips, engage your thighs, and squeeze your glutes.

Next, raise your right leg in the air as straight as possible, keeping the foot flexed, and extend it while raising your lower back and butt.

Lift your hip as high as possible by engaging your abs and pressing down through the left heel.

Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds; lower your hips to lightly touch the ground, then switch legs.

Number of sets: Three to four sets

Number of Repetitions: 8 to 12 reps.

Hip Strengthening Exercise 2. Donkey Kicks

Targeted muscles: All three butt muscles — gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, plus the lower back

Proper Form

Get on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under the hips, wrists aligned under your shoulders.

Next, draw your abdominals in you gradually lift your leg behind you until it’s almost parallel to the floor, with knee bent and foot flexed.

Hold the position and pulsate your flexed foot toward the ceiling by engaging and squeezing your glutes.

Keep the motion small and controlled with the muscle doing most of the work.

Focus on the muscle, and avoid using momentum.

And make sure to keep your back straight and spine in a neutral position.

Last up, return to the starting position to complete one rep.

Number of sets: Two to three sets

Number of Repetitions: 12 to 15 reps

Hip Strengthening Exercise 3. Side-Lying Hip Abduction

Targeted muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus and Tensor Fascia Lata.

Proper Form

Lie down on your side on the floor or the mat.

Make sure your hips and feet are stacked in a neutral position—Meaning the right hip is directly over the left hip (or the other way around).

And keep your body in a straight line from ankles to head.

Next, place your lower hand on the floor in front for support, and your upper hand resting upon your upper hip.

Keep your pelvis in a neutral position.

Engage your core muscles to support the spine.

Then, exhale and extend and raise your top leg off the lower while keeping the knee straight and your foot in a neutral position.

No hip rolling—forward or back—is allowed.

Raise the top leg as high as possible.

Inhale and slowly return the leg to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.

After finishing the set, roll over and repeat on the other side.

Number of sets: Two to three sets

Number of Repetitions: 8 to 10 reps

Hip Strengthening Exercise 4. Bird Dog Hip Strengthening Exercise

Targeted Muscles: Glutes, Lower Back Muscles, and Rectus Abdominis Muscle.

Proper Form

Get down on all fours on your hands and knees with palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart, with knees directly under the hips and hands beneath the shoulders.

Make sure to keep your lower back and abdomen in a neutral position.

Next, engage your core to keep a good balance; raise your left arm and extend it straight out in front of your body as you raise your right leg and straighten it behind you.

Hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat.

Number of sets: Two to three sets.

Number of reps: 6 to 8 reps.

Hip Strengthening Exercise 5. Single-Leg Deadlift

Muscle engaged: Glutes, Hamstrings, Spinal Erectors, and Abs

Proper Form

Stand on your left leg with your right leg behind you and in the air.

Then, while keeping your shoulders back and back straight throughout the movement, hinge forward at the waist and raise the right leg behind you, then reach your hands toward the ground.

Last up, come back to the starting position by engaging your glutes and hamstring of the left leg.

For more challenges, use weight or a medicine ball for added resistance.

Number of sets: Three to four sets

Number of reps: 10 to 12.

Here are more strength exercises for runners.

 Bonus Hip Strength Exercises For Runners

Seated hip Flexion

This simple move activates the hip flexor past a 90-degree angle to condition the muscles throughout their range of motion.

Additional resource – Running Vs. Strength training

Proper Form

Begin by sitting on a chair with good posture.

Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, core engaged, and back flat.

Next, while bending your right knee to about a 90-degree angle, raise it toward your chest without letting your thigh roll in or out or leaning back, pause, then slowly lower it to start position.

Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.

Add weights for more challenges.


Another fantastic move for strengthening the hip muscles as well as the lower body.

To make the most out of lunges, make sure to include different variations of this standard lunge, including static, backward, and plyo versions.

Proper Form

Begin in standing position, feet just slightly apart, looking straight ahead with back flat and core engaged.

Next, place your hands on your hips, then take a giant step forward with your right foot.

Make sure your hips are hanging straight on either side of your body.

Then, once you ensure heel contact with the floor, bend the right knee over the ankle while bending the left toward the ground.

Last up, press back into the starting position, pushing off the ground with your leading foot.

Changes sides to complete one rep.

Skater Squats

This is one of my favorite squat variations, focusing specifically on the hips instead of every muscle in the lower body.

Proper Form

Begin by performing a mini-squat, bending from the hips and knee and lowering your butt toward the floor while keeping your chest lifted and back flat, then transition your weight to the right side and lift the left leg slightly off the floor, toes pointed ahead.

This is your starting position.

Next, slowly squat by pushing your hips and butt backward.

Keep squatting until your right knee is bent to a 90-degree angle, if possible.

Perform  10 to 12 reps on each side to complete one set.

Shoot for three sets.


You’ll often find this move on most lower body rehabilitation programs, the reason being it works.

Not only does it strengthen your hips and glutes, but it also stabilizes your pelvis muscles and helps soothe tightness in the lower back, which is key for injury-free training.

Proper form

Begin by laying on the mat on your side, hips stable, heels together, and legs stacked up on top of each other.

Your shoulders, hips, and heels should form a straight line.

If it’s uncomfortable to lay in this position, lie with your back against a couch.

Next, open your top knee so that it points at the ceiling.

Keep your feet stacked together and allow for no rolling backward throughout the movement.

Raise the top knee as far as possible without rotating your hip or lifting your bottom knee off the floor, then pause for a moment.

To complete one rep, close the leg.

Perform 16 to 20 on each side to finish one set.

Shoot for three sets.

For more resistance, wrap a resistance band around your lower thighs.

Standing hip flexion

Another excellent move for isolating the hip flexors while improving muscle control and balance.

The movement is easy to perform but provides the lower body a good workout.

Proper Form

Begin by assuming an athletic position, back straight, core engaged, and feet hip-width distance apart.

Next, while keeping your left foot planted in the ground, raise your right leg off the ground so that you form a 90-degree angle at the hip.

Then, hold for a count of five to ten, then slowly lower the leg.

Switch sides to complete one rep.

Perform five reps to complete one set.

For more challenges, use weight or slowly flex your hip forward.

Additional resource – Clamshells for runners

Hip Strengthening Exercises For Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it!

The above hip strengthening exercises should make a huge part of your resistance training if you’re serious about improving performance and preventing injury.

Whatever you do, make sure to stay within your fitness level the entire time. Doing regular exercises to strengthen your hips is a good thing, but overdoing it is not the way to go.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong

David D.

6 Fat-Burning Running Workouts to Torch Calories and Boost Fitness

trail running

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of fat-burning running workouts?

Well, you’ve stumbled upon the perfect place to do just that!

Let me tell you, my friend, I have a deep love affair with running. The exhilaration of pounding the pavement, the wind in my hair, and the rhythm of my feet—it’s pure magic. And if you’re a fellow runner, you know exactly what I mean, don’t you?

My own journey with running began about 8 years ago when I made the life-changing decision to shed those extra pounds and get into tip-top shape. And let me tell you, weight loss is often the driving force behind many people’s decision to lace up their running shoes. It’s a common goal—to shed the weight and keep it off for good.

But here’s the thing, my friend. To truly maximize your weight loss potential with running, there are two key factors at play.

First, you must follow a sound and healthy diet (but that’s a topic for another time).

Second, and the star of today’s discussion, is the running routine itself—a carefully crafted plan designed to torch those calories in the most efficient way possible.

So, if you’re eager to supercharge your calorie burn on your next run, you’re in for a treat. I’ve got six incredible run workouts that will take your fat-burning potential to new heights. These workouts are specifically tailored to help you achieve maximum results in the shortest time possible.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the heart-pounding, sweat-inducing world of fat-burning run workouts. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Fat Burning Running Workout 1. Intervals

If you haven’t heard of intervals, you’ve been missing out on the ultimate calorie-burning secret in the running world. These short bursts of intense exercise paired with recovery periods are like dynamite for torching those extra calories.

Let’s dive into the science, shall we? A study conducted at the University of New South Wales in Australia revealed some eye-opening findings. Running intervals can burn up to three times as many calories as running at a comfortable, easy pace. That’s right, three times the calorie burn! Talk about maximizing your efforts.

And hold on tight, because there’s more research to back it up. Another study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that individuals who incorporated interval running into their workouts burned more calories in the 24 hours following their exercise session than those who stuck to slow, steady mileage.

But that’s not all.

The interval runners also experienced a significant decrease in body fat, around 4 percent, while the other group saw no changes. Now that’s what I call a fat-burning victory!

I could go on and on about the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for runners, but we’ll save that for another day. Trust me, it’s a topic worth exploring.

Getting Started

Now, let’s talk about getting started with your interval run workouts. The intensity and duration of each sprint will depend on your fitness level and training goals.

So, here’s a general guideline to get you on the right track:

First things first, warm-up is key. Spend a good 5 minutes jogging slowly to get your body primed and ready for action. Follow it up with dynamic exercises that engage your muscles and prepare them for the hard efforts ahead.

Once you’re properly warmed up, it’s time to kick it into high gear. Sprint for a glorious 20 seconds, giving it your all. Feel the wind in your hair, the power in your legs, and push yourself to the limit. Then, take a breather and jog for a well-deserved 30-second recovery period.

But we’re not done yet, my friend. Repeat this exhilarating cycle six to eight times, pushing yourself to new heights with each sprint. And when you’ve completed your final sprint, don’t forget to cool down. Jog slowly for another 5 minutes to gradually bring your heart rate back to normal, and make sure to stretch your entire body afterwards to keep those muscles happy and healthy.

Oh, and one last thing—don’t forget your trusty stopwatch. It’s your best friend for keeping track of your run intervals, ensuring you stay on top of your game.

Additional resource – Here’s how to reduce body fat.

Fat Burning Running Workout 2. Weighted Sprints

Are you ready to take your sprint game to the next level? Then it’s time to introduce the secret weapon: the weighted vest. Picture yourself strapping on this vest of power, adding a whole new dimension of intensity and calorie-burning fire to your sprints.

But hold on, it’s not just about the extra weight. There’s science behind it. According to a fascinating article published in Fitness Magazine, walkers who wore a weighted vest equivalent to roughly 20 percent of their body weight burned a whopping 14 percent more calories. That’s like turning up the heat on your calorie-burning furnace!

But here’s the icing on the cake: the benefits go beyond just torching calories. Runners who incorporate weighted vests into their training drills often experience a significant boost in performance once the weight is removed. It’s like training in a higher gravity environment, preparing your body to perform at its peak when the vest comes off. Talk about leveling up your running game!

Now, let’s talk about how to incorporate the weighted vest into your sprint routine. Stick to the same sprint pattern we discussed earlier, but this time, amp up the intensity and resistance by strapping on that vest. Start with a weight that feels comfortable, around five to ten pounds, or aim for a vest that’s about 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight.

Fat Burning Running Workout 3. Hill Runs

Are you ready to conquer the hills and take your sprint sessions to new heights? Get ready for the ultimate challenge because we’re about to dive into the world of hill sprints. Brace yourself because when it comes to intensity, hill sprints reign supreme.

Imagine this: hills are like the mighty dragons of the running world. They demand respect, but they also offer great rewards for those brave enough to conquer them. Fitness experts and training coaches consider hill sprints to be the pinnacle of running workouts. They are the crucible where champions are forged and limits are shattered.

So, what makes hills so superior? It’s simple, really.

When you tackle a hill, you’re engaging a whole army of muscles that would otherwise be taking a leisurely stroll on flat terrain. The increased effort and resistance of running uphill translate into a higher calorie burn and a killer full-body workout. It’s like unleashing the forces of nature within your own body.

But that’s not all. Hill sprints also work their magic by strengthening your lower body muscles, transforming you into a speed demon with explosive power. You’ll feel your fitness levels skyrocket as you conquer those inclines like a true champion.

If you’re itching to dive deeper into the world of hill running, make sure to check out my post dedicated to this epic topic. You’ll find even more tips and insights to help you conquer those hills like a seasoned warrior.

Now, let’s talk about how to get started with hill interval runs. If you have access to a treadmill, set it at a 5 percent incline to mimic the challenge of a hill. But if you’re feeling adventurous and crave the real deal, venture outside and find a gentle hill to conquer.

Before you charge up that hill, make sure you warm up properly. Spend around 5 minutes jogging on a flat surface, preparing your body for the battle ahead. And don’t forget some ballistic stretching to awaken those muscles and get them ready to tackle the incline.

Once you’re warmed up and primed for action, it’s time to face the hill. Dig deep, my friend, and run up that hill at a hard but sustainable pace for 20 seconds. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, and conquer that hill with all your might. Then, jog back to the starting position, take a moment to recover, and prepare for your next ascent.

Repeat this epic cycle of conquering the hill six to eight times, adjusting the number of repetitions based on your fitness level and training goals. And when you’ve conquered that final hill, it’s time for a proper cool-down. Slowly jog back to your starting point, allowing your body to recover and soak in the glory of your triumph.

Running VS. Strength Training

Fat Burning Running Workout 4. The Stairs

Imagine stairs as the stairway to fitness heaven, a simple yet challenging path that leads to greatness. And the best part? Stairs are like a universal gym, offering endless opportunities for bodyweight exercises that will sculpt your muscles and push your limits.

When you step onto those stairs, you’re entering a realm of fitness possibilities. It’s like having a secret training ground right at your feet, waiting for you to unlock its full potential. With every step, you’re not just conquering the stairs, you’re conquering your own limitations and pushing yourself to new heights.

What I love most about stair workouts is the versatility they offer. You can incorporate a variety of bodyweight exercises into your stair routine, turning each step into an opportunity for strength and endurance. Elevate your push-ups by placing your hands on a step, feel the burn in your legs with stair lunges, defy gravity with explosive stair squat jumps, and challenge your core with plank holds. The stairs become your playground, and your body becomes a masterpiece in the making.

Finding the right stairs for your workout is easier than you might think. In almost any city, you can discover a multitude of suitable outdoor steps just waiting to be conquered. Whether it’s the grand staircase at the local school stadium, the stairs in your office building, or even the stairs in your own home, there’s a perfect flight of stairs out there for you. Just make sure they’re safe and ready to unleash your potential.

Now, let’s dive into the workout itself. But first, don’t forget to warm up properly. Take a leisurely stroll up and down the stairs, allowing your body to awaken and prepare for the intense challenge ahead. Give yourself at least five minutes to get those muscles primed and ready for action.

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to unleash your inner stair sprinter. Picture this: you’re at the bottom of the stairs, a fiery determination burning in your eyes. With a burst of energy, you sprint hard from the bottom to the top as fast as humanly possible. Feel the rush of adrenaline, the power of your legs propelling you upward. And as you reach the top, take a moment to soak in your accomplishment before gently jogging or power walking back down for recovery.

Repeat this cycle of stair sprints and recovery for at least 15 minutes. Challenge yourself, push your limits, and let the stairs become your training partner, pushing you to give it your all. And when you’ve conquered your final sprint, it’s time to bring your session to a close with a proper cool-down. Take a moment to slowly descend the stairs, allowing your heart rate to gradually return to normal. And don’t forget to stretch afterward, giving your hardworking muscles the love and care they deserve.

Additional resource – How to measure body fat percentage

Fat Burning Running Workout 5 Tabata Protocol Runs

Get ready to unleash the beast within with my all-time favorite running workout: the Tabata protocol. It’s like tapping into a hidden well of power and intensity that will leave you breathless and exhilarated. The Tabata session is a straightforward and no-nonsense approach to pushing your limits and taking your fitness to new heights.

Here’s how it works: for twenty seconds, you become a force of nature, giving it your all with maximum effort and output. And just when you think you can’t go any further, a brief ten-second rest allows you to catch your breath and prepare for the next explosive round. You repeat this cycle eight times, unleashing your inner warrior with every repetition.

But wait, there’s more! With the Tabata protocol I’m about to share with you, we’re taking things up a notch by incorporating bodyweight exercises into the mix.

This combination of Tabata sprints and bodyweight exercises will push your physical limits and leave you with a sense of accomplishment like no other.

The beauty of Tabata is that almost any exercise can be integrated into your sprints. Think squats, pull-ups, lunges—the options are endless. By using your own body weight in conjunction with running, you’re not only testing your stamina and endurance, but also building functional strength that translates to real-life movements.

Now, let’s dive into the routine. Remember, the basic recipe for Tabata training is twenty seconds of intense effort, followed by ten seconds of rest, repeated for a total of eight rounds. Brace yourself for the ultimate test of willpower and determination.

First, start with a dynamic warm-up to prepare your body for the intensity ahead. Engage in some light jogging, dynamic stretches, and mobilize your joints to get the blood flowing and your muscles primed for action.

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to unleash the fury. Choose an exercise—let’s say squats—and give it your all for twenty seconds. Feel the burn, feel your muscles working, and give it everything you’ve got. Then, take a well-deserved ten-second breather to recover and prepare for the next round.

Repeat this cycle for eight rounds, pushing yourself to new limits with each repetition. Embrace the burn, embrace the challenge, and tap into your inner strength. Remember, it’s not just about the physical exertion—it’s about pushing past your mental barriers and realizing your true potential.

When you’ve completed the Tabata sprints with squats, it’s time to move on to the next bodyweight exercise. Whether it’s pull-ups, lunges, or any other exercise of your choice, the same rules apply: twenty seconds of maximum effort, ten seconds of rest, and eight rounds of pure determination.

As you reach the end of your Tabata protocol, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve conquered the challenge, you’ve pushed yourself beyond your limits, and you’ve proven that you are capable of extraordinary things. Take a moment to cool down with some light jogging or walking, allowing your heart rate to gradually return to normal. And don’t forget to stretch those hardworking muscles, showing them some love and promoting recovery.

After a decent warm-up (5-minute jog and some light stretching) do the following:

  • Exercise One: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Two: Tabata push-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Three: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Four: Tabata squats as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Five: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Six : Tabata sit-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Seven : Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Eight: Tabata burpees as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Nine: Sprint full effort until you can’t do no more.

Finish off this powerful session with a proper cool down.

Jog slowly for five minutes and stretch your whole body.

Additional resource – How to eat less sugar

Fat Burning Running Workout 6. Go Long

Forget what you’ve heard about long runs being the ultimate solution for weight loss while running.

While it’s true that a 30-minute sprint workout will torch more calories than a leisurely 45-minute jog, long runs still have their rightful place in your training program—no matter your fitness goals. Let me break it down for you and reveal why incorporating long, slow distance runs (LSD) into your routine can be a game-changer.

First and foremost, long runs are not just about burning calories in the moment. They serve a greater purpose by improving your overall fitness foundation, setting the stage for more effective high-intensity workouts. Think of them as the sturdy pillars supporting the structure of your running performance.

But that’s not all. Long runs work wonders for enhancing your cardiovascular capacity and strengthening your ligaments, making you more resilient and capable during intense sprints and shorter runs.

And let’s not forget about form and mechanics. Long runs provide the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your running technique. With each stride, you can focus on maintaining proper posture, engaging the right muscles, and optimizing your efficiency.

Now, before you lace up those shoes and hit the pavement for an epic long run, let me clarify a few important details. One session per week is sufficient to reap the maximum calorie-torching benefits. Keep the pace conversational, allowing yourself to comfortably hold a conversation while running. Aim for a duration of no more than 45 minutes, gradually increasing the time while adhering to the golden 10 percent rule: avoid increasing your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent to prevent overuse injuries.

So, there you have it—a balanced approach that combines the power of high-intensity workouts with the endurance-building benefits of long runs. It’s a recipe for success in your weight loss and fitness journey.

Give these fat-burning running workouts a try, and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. If you’re hungry for more strategies on losing belly fat while running, be sure to check out my comprehensive article on the topic.

Thank you for joining me on this running adventure. Keep pushing your limits, celebrating your progress, and embracing the joy of the run.

Additional resource  – Trx for runners


The Stronger Runner: Unveiling the Secrets of Effective Strength Training

Attention, runners seeking to unleash their inner powerhouse! Get ready to dive headfirst into the ultimate treasure trove of weight training wisdom specifically designed to elevate your running game!

In this post, I’m about to unravel the full-fledged guide that will revolutionize the way you approach weight training. Get ready to embark on a journey thatwill take you from novice to seasoned pro, leaving no stone unturned.

By the time we cross the finish line, your mind will be filled with an abundance of knowledge.

Brace yourself to discover the incredible benefits of weightlifting tailored to runners like yourself.

We’ll explore the latest cutting-edge research, unveiling the secrets behind strength training as the ultimate shield against those pesky injuries that threaten to derail your running dreams.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What’s Strength Training?

Imagine yourself as a runner on a long-distance race. You’ve been training for months, but as you hit the halfway mark, you feel the fatigue setting in. Your muscles ache, your form starts to falter, and your pace slows down. But what if I told you that there’s a way to break through that plateau and reach your running goals faster? Enter strength training.

Strength training is the secret weapon for runners looking to improve their speed, efficiency, and endurance. It involves using external resistance, such as weights or resistance bands, to challenge your muscles to adapt and get stronger. And the benefits are not just limited to physical performance.

Research on Strength Training for runners And Injury Prevention

Studies have shown that weightlifting can reduce injury risks and fix muscle imbalances caused by the repetitive motion of running.

In fact, a study published by the National Strength & Conditioning Association found that weightlifting strengthens muscles and joints, leading to proper form, improved running time, and reduced injury risks. Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning revealed that exercises like squats and single-leg hops not only help reduce injury risks but also improve performance.

But that’s not all. Strength training can also help you burn more calories. Many runners turn to running as a means of weight loss, but as their bodies adapt, they start burning fewer calories. Incorporating strength training into your routine can help increase your lean muscle mass, which in turn boosts your body’s ability to shed more calories.

Run Faster

Resistance training puts stress on your body, forcing it to adapt to boost its ability to withstand the extra load.

Over time, with regular training, these stress-induced adaptations can have an enormous impact on your running speed, efficiency, and endurance.

So, for instance, the stronger your leg muscles get, the more force you can generate on each stride and the more distance you can travel on each foot strike.

Plus, stronger shoulders and arms are essential in increasing your speed and form efficiency.

Fix Muscle Imbalances

Running is one-directional action, meaning it works some muscles more than others, leading to the onset of muscle imbalances.

This places excessive pressure on ligaments and tendons, reducing stride efficiency, limiting running economy, and increasing the risks of injury.

Research shows that, often than not, many runners nagging issues, such as shin splints, runners knee, Achilles tendinitis, etc., stem from muscle imbalances.

With all that being said, the good news is, as little as six weeks of proper weight training can reduce, or completely alleviate knee pain, according to a study.

Burns More Calories

Many runners took up running as means of weight loss. And as my experience dictates, running is helpful for shedding the pounds—especially during the first few months of training.

That said, once your body gets used to running (especially if you lack variety in your training), it’ll start to burn fewer calories.

For that reason, you might want to back up your running for weight loss training with a well-rounded and intense strength training schedule.

As a matter of fact, by increasing your lean muscle mass, you’ll boost your body’s ability to shed more calories.

Build Stronger Bones

In addition to helping you prevent injury, improve running performance, build muscle, and lose fat, weight lifting also improves bone density.

This can be typically measured using a DEXA scan, which is similar to an x-ray but more thorough.

But how does strength training make bones stronger?

It’s actually quite simple.

By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density, therefore, reducing the risks of bone-related issues.

That’s it.

This is especially the case for us runners as stress fractures—a common overuse injury—is every runner’s worst nightmare.

For the full scope on a stress fracture, check my full guide here.

Strong Arms

Have you ever tried running without using your arms? It’s not a good idea.

Swinging your arms faster automatically increases your step frequency, and vice versa.

We pump our arms as we run, and the stronger our arms are, the more powerful the forward drive, and the faster we move forward.

That’s no secret.

Be More Efficient

Running doesn’t just involve relying on the leg for forward propulsion, but we’re also using our core, back, arms, shoulders, and chest to balance and improve efficiency.

When the legs are exhausted, we use the upper body more because of the kinetic chain.

Everything is working together in one interlocked system.

Better Form

Your running form can ultimately make or break you as a runner.

That’s why if you can’t hold proper form throughout your runs, you’ll never reach your full running potential.

Improving your upper body strength can make your posture more efficient and help you keep a consistent form, especially as fatigue starts to set in.

Fortunately, improving upper-body strength can upgrade your technique and help you keep consistent form.

Signs of a bad form may include:

  • Rounding the shoulders,
  • Shrugging the shoulder near the ears,
  • Holding on to tension,
  • Swinging the arms too widely,
  • Holding a cell phone or water bottle,

But when you keep your posture straight, head held high, shoulder loose and square, and your arms functioning properly, you’ll ensure that you won’t get hurt.

What’s more?

A stronger upper body, especially a well-developed back, and core muscles help protect your spine from the impact of running.

Additional Resource – Here’s another strength training program for runners to check out

It Requires Little Time

You don’t need to train like an elite bodybuilder or CrossFitter to reap the benefits of strength training.

In fact, all you need is no more than a 30- to 45-minute session two to three times per week, to reap the benefits of strength training as a runner.

Here is the full guide on starting strength training for runners.

Note: Strength training should be performed according to your fitness level and training goals.

For that reason, you need to opt for a well-rounded strength program designed specifically to meet your running needs.

This is why a sprinter strength routine can look so different from a long-distance athlete program.

Are you looking for a way to take your running to the next level? Look no further than strength training! And the best part? It doesn’t require hours upon hours of time in the gym. In fact, all you need is 30-45 minutes, two to three times per week, to start seeing the benefits of strength training as a runner.

Muscles Anatomy

Your body is a complicated piece of machinery, and muscles are a huge part of what’s driving it.

According to experts, five main groups of muscles are used while running—quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteals, and calf muscles.

Your body also uses secondary muscles to keep you going forward, such as the core and upper body muscles. 

These typically provide stability throughout the gait cycle and improve speed and running economy.

The Quadriceps

The quadriceps, the muscles on the front of the thighs, are in charge of forward leg movement.  Also known as the quads, these run from the hips down to the kneecap and are composed of four muscles:

  • The Vastus Medialis,
  • Intermedius,
  • Lateralus, and
  • Rectus Femoris.

The Hamstrings

The hamstrings consist of a single large tendon located at the back of the thigh and play a key role in standing, walking, or running, as well as hip extension and knee flexion. These muscles are comprised of

  • The biceps femoris,
  • The Semitendinosus, and
  • The Semimembranosus.

The Gluteals

Consisting of a group of three muscles, the gluteals are located in the buttocks and are responsible for hip extension, posture and proper knee alignment, and leg stability. The glutes consist of the following:

  • The Gluteus Maximus,
  • The Gluteus medius, and
  • The Gluteus minimus.

The Hip Flexors

The hip flexors, while smaller in size, play a crucial role in our everyday movements. From walking to squatting, these muscles are constantly activated, which is why it’s important to keep them strong and flexible.

Tight hip flexors can lead to discomfort and even pain, while a strong and healthy hip flexor group can improve posture, stability, and overall athletic performance.

The Calves

Located on the back of the lower leg, just below the knees, the calves are another supercritical running muscles.

Why? These provide spring in your step, extend and flex each foot as you land and push off, and maintain lower body balance and coordination. The calves consist of:

  • The large gastrocnemius, or outer calf; and
  • The smaller soleus, or inner calf.

Research has shown that incorporating exercises that specifically target these muscle groups can have a significant impact on running performance. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that a six-week strength training program targeting the glutes and hip flexors led to improved running economy and performance in female distance runners.

The Best Strength Exercises For Runners

Try adding this powerful routine to your easy or cross-training days. The workout will take roughly 45 minutes to complete and can be done twice a week. That’s a small amount of time to invest in a big payoff.

I’ve also provided you with YouTube tutorials showing you exactly how to do each exercise. Proper form is king! For a better grip, try out this liquid chalk.

1. Planks

One of the core exercises that ended up becoming a staple in my training was the plank.

It’s one of the best core exercises because it targets every aspect of the core, as well as the lower back and shoulders.

Proper Form

  1. Lie on your stomach
  2. Prop yourself up on your elbow with feet slightly apart, toes hip distance apart with shoulders directly above the elbows
  3. Aim to straighten your whole body, so it’s forming a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
  4. While engaging your core and keeping a straight line (your butt should not stick up in the air), hold the position for 30 seconds to a full minute.

As you get stronger, you should gradually add more time.

You can also make it more challenging for yourself by placing a weight plate on your back.

2. Russian Twists

The Russian twist targets a bunch of muscles, including the abs, obliques, lower back and your hamstrings as well.

You can use a medicine ball or a plate for extra resistance.

Proper Form

  1. Grab a weight, then lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Hold the weight in front of your body while keeping your back straight.
  3. Twist your torso as far as you can to the right side, tap the weight on the floor, then reverse your motion to the other side.

3. Overhead Lunges

The overhead lunge targets the whole body—quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and core muscles.

It’s the perfect fit-it-all-in move, so it’s great if you’re pressed for time.

It also increases flexibility and mobility in your hip flexors.

Proper Form

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells or a weighted bar above your shoulder, with your arms straight, and your elbow locked, feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  2. While holding the weight directly overhead, step forward with your right leg into a deep lunge position, bending both your knees.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. That’s one repetition.

Do 12 steps on each side to complete one set.

4. Air Squats

Bodyweight squats are some of the best strength exercises you can do.  These should be an integral part in any runner’s strength-oriented training program.

Squats target a lot of running-specific muscles.

They are convenient to do, and can easily be added to your post-run routine.

Proper Form

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart with your toes facing forward
  2. With your arms out in front at shoulder height, squat down by bending your knees, leaning forward at the waist while keeping your back flat and your knees tracking behind your toes
  3. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Press up through your heels to return to starting position.

5. Single-Leg Deadlifts

The single-leg deadlift is the ideal slow-burn move for building strong hamstrings and glutes, which can help you tackle steep hills with ease.

This exercise can also improve your balance and boost your stability.

Proper Form

  1. Start by holding two dumbbells or a weighted bar in front of your body.
  2. While standing tall, shift your weight to your right foot
  3. Hinge forward by slightly bending your right knee and raising your left foot behind you in line with your torso, letting the weights hang down
  4. Lower the weight while keeping it close to the tops of the legs.
  5. Once the weight goes past your knee, pause, then return to the starting position.

6. The Pistol

Also known as the one-legged squat, the pistol is a powerful squat variation that builds strength and balance in your lower body.

If you have issues with lower body flexibility or mobility, use a chair or a bench for the assisted pistol option. That’s how I got pretty decent at doing pistols.

Proper Form

  1. Standing tall, balance on your right foot,
  2. Squat down by bending at the knee and sitting your hips back.
  3. Once your right knee is at about a 90-degree angle, push back up by extending your leg to starting position.s

7. Rotational Shoulder Press

This move is ideal for targeting your upper body muscles, with the emphasis on the shoulder and core muscles.

Proper Form

  1. While standing tall with your feet hip-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders.
  2. As you press the weights up with your right hand, rotate your body to the right side.
  3. Lower the weights to your shoulder as you rotate back to the center, then rotate to the left as you press your left again upward this time.

weight training for runners


Weight Lifting For Runners  – The Conclusion

There you have it ! The above weight training for runners guidelines all you need to help you prevent overuse injuries and increase athletic performance without logging in more miles. The rest is up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post

Keep Running Strong

David D.