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Five Exercises Every Runner Should Do

woman-track-running

We all know runners require a certain level of maintenance for specific muscle groups, including hamstrings, calves, obliques, glutes and even lower back. Stretching and strengthening these muscular areas should be part of any triathlete and runner's overall training regimen. Below we'll cover some of the top five strength building exercises that runners should be doing, which provide the most benefit specifically for those targeted muscle groups.

Jump Rope

Keep legs straight and focus on bouncing off the balls of the feet and toes only.  Turn rope over quickly so jumps are low to group and rapid.  Work 30-60 second sets to warm up before strength work and to practice good turnover while running.  Target shoulders, calves, cardiovascular system.

Side Plank / Leg Lift

Lying on the either side, elbow under the shoulder lift the hips so that only contact points are the lower elbow and lower foot.  From Plank position, lift top leg until parallel with the floor then lower down slowly.  Repeat for 8-15 reps per side.  Target obliques and glute medius.  

Single Leg Bridge / Supine Position

Lying on back with one leg elevated, other leg bent with heel close to butt.  Press strong through heel and lift hips high, then lower slowly.  Repeat for 10-25 reps per leg.  Target hamstrings and glutes.

Standing Single Leg Deadlift

From standing position and single leg balance, hinge forward from the hips with standing leg straight and knee slightly bent.  Don’t let hips rotate as you lower upper body towards the floor and stretch the hamstring on the standing leg.  Return to standing position and repeat for 10-15 reps per leg.  Target hamstring and low back.

Low Plank with Knee Tuck

From prone position on elbows press hips up so that shoulders, hips, and heels form a straight line with body resting on elbows and tip toes.  Hold steady position while pulling one knee to same side tricep area.  Return to starting position and alternate legs for 10-20 reps per side.  Target shoulders, abs, hip flexors, and quads.