A Strength Workout For Runners

This workout for runners will make you run stronger, faster and better. (Plus, you’ll be at a lower risk for injury.)

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workout for runners

Workout for runners

Who doesn’t want more power when they run? Not only do you feel stronger, but you’ll also run better. That means you have better posture, can run harder and faster, and you won’t be as tired kicking out a few extra Ks compared to your last run. What's the secret? Increase your strength to weight ratio to increase your speed on the pavement. It’s simple enough, actually. You just add these key weight training moves and plyometric jumps to the workouts you’re already doing. And you’ll turn your regular ol’ workout into a workout for runners.

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Workout for runners: Trap bar deadlifts

3 sets, 6 to 8 reps

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Brace through your core as you hinge forward with a neutral spine to find the handles.
  • With your shoulders retracted, initiate the movement by pushing your hips forward, squeezing your glutes to drive your hips into full extension, as you stand upright.
  • Return to your starting position by hinging your hips to bring the bar back to the floor.

This move tones the muscles at the back of your body, which can help increase your power on the pavement.

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workout for runners, vertical jumps

Workout for runners: Vertical jumps

3 sets, 6 reps

  • This explosive plyometrics movement begins in a quarter squat loaded position (not quite a full squat) with straight arms back.
  • Jump off the ground with arms up in the air, your legs straight and hips in full extension.
  • Snap your arms back down and land with feet shoulder width apart to return to starting position.
  • Reset for 2 to 3 seconds before doing the move again.

Jumping is key to an exercise program for runners – it helps to increase explosiveness which gives more power to those smaller muscles around the joints to increase speed.

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workout for runners, chinups

Workout for runners: Chin-ups

3 sets, 6 to 8 reps

  • With a supinated grip on the bar (palms facing your body), hold your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Brace through your core, squeeze your glutes and pull your chest to the bar by keeping your shoulders retracted to complete the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower until arms are straight to complete one rep.

The biggest mistake runners make in the gym? Focusing only on their lower body. This movement builds core strength and upper body strength to power your run.

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workout for runners, side lunges

Workout for runners: Lateral lunges

3 sets, 8 to 10 reps each side

  • Begin with your feet in a hip-width stance, holding the dumbbells on your shoulders.
  • Take a large step out to the side, landing in a side lunge position.
  • Push off the bent leg to return to your standing position.

Another mistake runners make: Only do forward-moving exercises. But that just creates imbalances in the body and will make you prone to injury. Side-to-side exercises are important.

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workout for runners, side plank

Workout for runners: High plank hold

3 sets, 30-seccond holds each side

  • Begin by stacking your knees, hips and shoulders on your side.
  • Lift your body off the ground to create a straight line from your feet to shoulders.
  • Flex your quads and squeeze your glutes are you maintain this position for 30 seconds.

A strong core creates a strong runner. And planks are just the way to target these muscles

To see the full workout as a video, go to The Best Health Runner’s Workout.

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workout for runners, photo of Jennifer Lau

About Jennifer Lau

Jennifer is co-owner of FitSquad Toronto and is a highly accomplished personal trainer and holistic nutritionist with 10 years experience in the fitness and health industry. Her passion to empower women has lead her to become a leader in female training. She is head coach of Fit Squad’s all women’s training camp, has given corporate workshops and presentations on fitness and nutrition and can be found regularly contributing to media outlets in the city.

See more of Jennifer on Instagram @fitsquad_training and at fitsquad.ca.