Five key exercises for runners

These five exercises are a must for every runner out there, whether you're experienced or new to the sport.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
20th March 2017

article:20th March 2017

Are you preparing for an upcoming race?
Are you preparing for an upcoming race?

Staying injury-free is every runner’s dream scenario and these five important exercises will help you stay fit and always be ready to run.

The common misconception about long-distance running, specifically, is that you have to run long run after long run to get in the best physical condition.


Of course, weekly-long runs and big distances aid you in the build-up to a marathon, but strength and conditioning, as well as stretching, can go a long way as far as preparation for upcoming races goes.

Essentially, it’s not all about running.

Check out these exercises:

SINGLE DEAD LIFT

The dead lift is an important movement to work your hamstrings and glutes, as well as tackle core stability and balance.

Stand on one leg, keeping a slight bend in your knee, straighten your back horizontally and hold your head up.

Lift your non-standing leg behind you, extend and hold it straight for a few seconds.

Repeat the trick, and if you wish to make things more challenging, hold a weight with your arms stretched forward.

SQUAT

Stand straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body as far as you can by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.

Pause briefly before pushing yourself back up to your starting position.

Repetitions x10 are recommended and will help to warm-up key muscle groups throughout your legs.

GLUTE BRIDGE

The perfect exercise to strengthen your glutes (typically an area where runners forget to stretch) and hamstrings.

It’s a simple exercise, too.

Lie on a mat with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your feet flat on the floor.

Contract your glutes and elevate your hips in a straight line, going from your neck to your knees. Try and hold this position for a short period and keep your glutes engaged.

Repeat for a few repetitions.

STEP-UPS

A simple exercise you can do on stairs or a bench.

It’s also an activity that will improve the power in your stride pattern.

Step onto your chosen object with your left foot and drive your other leg high so you mimic a running motion (although exaggerated) on the step.

Return to your starting position and then repeat, switching legs.

SIDE PLANK

This is a great exercise to help engage your hips, as well as strengthen your core muscles.

Simply, lie on your side with your legs straight and ankles together.

Hold your torso up with your upper arm and lift your hips so they form a straight line…and don’t drop towards the floor.

Hold for a few seconds before changing sides.


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