9 Moves Runners Should Be Doing
Running is your main activity, but there are some easy bodyweight exercises you can do which will boost your power, strength and speed. Try them!
Every runner should do some kind of weight training alongside their regular running training. We think the most important bodyweight exercises for runners target the glutes. Why? A strong bum does more than look good in your running leggings.
Your glutes make you a faster, more powerful runner. They help you get up hills, and stabilise you on the downhills and on the flat. And strong glute muscles can help ward off back, hip and even calf pain.
Try some of these bodyweight exercises! No equipment or gym needed.
1 Hip Drive
Kneel down with your legs together, so your bottom is resting on your heels. Squeeze your bottom as you rise up to a kneeling position. Lower back down, keeping your glutes engaged. Repeat this 10-12 times.
2 Glute Bridge
Lie on your back with your feet flat and hip-width, knees bent. Keep your upper back and shoulders on the floor as you lift your hips up so your back is straight. Hold at the top and squeeze your bottom. Lower back down slowly then repeat, squeezing at the top each time for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.
3 Side Steps
Stand with your feet together and bend down into a squat position, sitting back as if onto a low chair. Take big steps side to side, staying low in the squat position and returning to the middle starting position between steps.
4 Hip Lift
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Perform a glute bridge and hold at the top. From here, raise one foot a few inches off the ground keeping the knee bent. It only needs to be a small lift. Keep your hips stable. Lower this foot and repeat on the other side. Repeat left and right without lowering your bottom. Do 5-6 per side (10-12 total) then lower your bottom down slowly.
5 Backward Stepping Lunge
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lunge one foot back in a straight line, so both feet are still pointing forward. Lower down so both knees are at right angles. Power back off the back foot to the start position, and repeat on the other side. Repeat 10-12 times total.
6 Walking Lunges
Walk forward in a straight line, doing deep lunges with each step. Go slowly and focus on squeezing the glutes and legs. Do at least 10 before turning and going back the other way.
7 Step Ups
You’ll need a bench, box or other sturdy surface for this. Choose something at least knee height (higher is better). Stand in front of the surface, put one foot on it and step up strongly using the foot on the surface to push yourself up. Stand with both feet on the surface and step back down, then repeat with the other foot. Repeat left and right for a total of 12-16 times.
8 Single-Leg Squat
This is a challenging move so progress up to it by starting with a supported version. Stand side on to a wall or doorframe, holding on with the hand nearest it. Lift the leg on the same side a few inches off the floor. Lower into a squat, sitting back as if onto a low chair. Pause at the lowest point and then drive up strongly. Do 4-6 on that side before swapping sides.
9 Single-Leg Deadlift
Stand on one leg with a slight bend in your knee. Keep your back flat and bend forward at the hips, reaching both arms towards the floor and sending the raised leg directly behind you. Use your glutes to pull you back up to standing. Do 6-8 on this side then repeat the other side.