Go faster for longer with this at-home strength training workout for runners that will power up your running muscles…
Run less, run stronger might seem like a far-fetched promise, but swapping some of your miles for an at-home strength training workout for runners could go a long way to improving your running speed and endurance, not to mention reducing your risk of injury.
Running generates an impact of two-to-four times your own body weight, so it makes sense to follow a strength programme that will improve your running efficiency, address any muscle imbalances and reduce your risk of a foot, knee or hip injury.
Worried about bulking up? The key to strength training for runners is to begin by focusing on higher-rep sets (low-to-moderate resistance, higher repetitions) primarily for the lower body, as this will yield the greatest return in terms of performance.
Compound (multi-muscle) moves will offer the biggest bang for your exercise buck, while bodyweight exercises that engage the glutes, hips and core (think, plank) can be handy, too.
At-home strength training workout for runners
Try doing this workout from online fitness coach Nicki Petitt (@nickipetitt) at least once a week. Perform the exercises in order, doing two sets of 40-second moves and taking 20 seconds of rest between exercises, completing two rounds. PB, here you come!
Forward weighted lunge
- Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, extend your left arm out to the side to aid your balance (A).
- Brace your core and step your left leg forwards, keeping your front knee behind the toes and chest up. Ensure your back leg is an inch or two off the floor, your core engaged and your hips stable (B).
- Return your front leg back to standing and repeat the action, then repeat for 40 seconds on the other leg.
Single-arm kettlebell swing
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, then place a kettlebell slightly in front of you on the floor.
- Hinging at the hips (think about pushing your bottom towards the wall behind you) and maintaining a flat back, grasp the kettlebell with your right hand and draw it back between your legs to create the start of the motion (A).
- Drive your hips forward to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height (B). Your arms should be relaxed and the swing should be generated from your hips, not your arms.
- Switch to your left hand for the second set.
- Start in a high-plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your feet just over shoulder-width apart.
- Place a dumbbell just behind your left hand. Brace your core and reach with your right hand to drag the weight underneath you from left (A) to right.
- Place your hand back on the floor and repeat the drag, right to left (B). Continue alternating.
Single-leg Romanian deadlifts
- Start standing and place your left foot in line with your right heel, lifting slightly on to your left toe. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, hanging your right arm straight down to the side of your right leg. Extend your left arm to the side for balance.
- Push your bottom backwards, hinging at the hips and maintaining a straight back as you lower the dumbbell down to graze your right shin (A).
- Briefly pause at the bottom, then drive your hips forward to stand tall and squeeze your glutes (B). Repeat on the left side for the second set.
Overhead reverse lunge
- Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, with your right arm extended out to the side for balance.
- Brace your core, take your left hand with the weight overhead (A), and lunge the left leg backwards, keeping the front knee behind the toes (B).
- Ensure your back leg is an inch or two off the floor, with your core engaged, then return your leg back to standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Repeat, then switch to your right leg for the second set. To advance, add four pulses to the bottom of the reverse lunge.
Front-rack dumbbell march
- Standing start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Rack a dumbbell on each shoulder, then brace your core, lift your right knee up to hip height (A), hold and return to standing.
- March, alternating legs (B) for a full set.
Model: Nicki Petitt | Photographer: Eddie Macdonald