Bodyweight Workout For Runners

Anthony J. Yeung
by Anthony J. Yeung
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Bodyweight Workout For Runners

To improve speed and endurance, runners often focus solely on running and only adjust things like speed, duration and maybe incline. But to effectively take your running to the next level, you need to add the right kind of strength training to your routine.

Adding more lower-body strength and muscle helps propel your body so you can run faster and longer without using as much energy. Just as important, the correct exercises can reduce injuries and help your muscles and joints withstand all the pounding on trails, paths and streets.

Try this bodyweight leg workout and achieve a new PR:

This routine strengthens your lower body as well as common weak areas for runners like glutes, hip stabilizers and hamstrings.

Incorporating single-leg exercises to target each leg separately helps you build equal strength on both sides, eliminate asymmetries and increase the activation of your stabilizing muscles, which improves your balance and reduces the risk of injuries.

We also added plyometrics to improve your explosiveness and an exercise to strengthen your core while you move your legs — all without a single piece of equipment!

Finally, stick to the suggested rest time: That way, you’re not only getting a great strength workout, but you’re also getting some conditioning work, too, (which, of course, helps you on your runs).

WARMUP/CIRCUIT 1

LATERAL BOUNDS

3 sets, 5 reps each direction, 30-second rest
The move: Stand on one leg, lower down and jump up and over as far as you can to the opposite site while landing on the other foot. Repeat in the opposite direction. Cover as much ground as you can with each bound and focus on landing with control.

CIRCUIT 2

SPLIT SQUATS

5 sets, 10 reps each leg, 30 second rest
The move: Stand with one foot about 3 feet in front of the other. Drop straight down and drive with your front heel so your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. Don’t let your front knee drift past your toe.

HIP/THIGH EXTENSION

5 sets, 10 reps each leg, 30 second rest
The move: Lie on your back and bend one knee so it makes a 90-degree angle and stick the other leg straight out. With your bent leg, squeeze your glute, push through your heel, lift your hips up and keep them level as you rise. Keep your straight leg extended throughout the exercise and keep it in line with your torso.

CIRCUIT 3

LATERAL SQUAT

3 sets, 8 reps each leg, 30 second rest
The move: Start with a very wide stance and your feet straight. Sit back into one hip and push that knee out. Repeat on the other side.

DEADBUGS

3 sets, 5 reps each side, 30 second rest
The move: Lie on your back with your arms and knees in the air (imagine a dead bug), press your lower back into the ground and lift your glutes. Reach out with your right leg and left leg at the same time while keeping your lower back flat on the ground, keeping your hips off the ground and exhaling fully. Switch sides and repeat.

About the Author

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung

Anthony, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is a fitness expert at Esquire, GQ and Men’s Health and gets guys in shape for their wedding at GroomBuilder.

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