Runner's Workout: Plyo, Strength, and Agility
A little strength training goes a long way, especially when you are pushing your body to run faster. Strengthening your joints and muscles with classic bodyweight and plyometric exercises can help prevent overuse injuries that could interfere with your training. When adding speedwork to your running regimen, also take time each week to do this short and effective workout. It's designed to keep you light on your feet, improve your agility, and strengthen your legs, core, and glutes. We've even added a couple upper-body exercises to improve your posture while running, which is so important as you log those many miles.
Check out the workout below, and keep scrolling to learn more details on each exercise.
- Jump off the balls of your feet as you perform this classic exercise.
- To modify, step the legs wide and then step them together instead of jumping.
Skip in Place
- Skip in place by hopping on your right leg while bringing the left knee up toward your chest. Engage your abs as the knee comes toward your chest.
- Switch legs, and keep skipping while pumping your arms.
- Begin standing with your feet together. Hop your feet wide apart, and come into a deep squat, bringing your hands to your thighs. Your toes will be pointed outward.
- Push off your knees for leverage as you jump, crossing your legs to land. Continue jumping out and in, alternating which leg come in front as you bring your legs together.
Single-Leg Line Hops
- With your right foot slightly off the ground, balance on your left foot.
- Hop sideways, back and forth, over an imaginary line.
- Begin in a full plank. Lower your right elbow to the mat and then your left, coming into an elbow plank.
- Put your right hand on the mat, and straighten your right elbow. Do the same on the left to return to full plank.
- Lie face down on the mat, with your arms by your sides.
- Arch your back, raising your legs, head, and upper body off the floor, bending your elbows, and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Lower everything to the floor, and repeat.
- Lie on your back, with bent knees. Extend your left leg straight, two inches from the ground.
- Press through your right heel, lifting both hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes. Then lower your pelvis to the mat, and repeat.
Alternating Lateral Lunge
- Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side, coming into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Your right knee shouldn't go beyond your right toes.
- Push into your right foot to return to standing, then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge and Hop
- Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot, and land softly back in a lunge.
Single-Leg Touch and Hop
- Begin standing your weight on your left foot. Keeping your back long, bend your left knee to touch the floor with your right fingers.
- Swing your right leg and left arm forward to return to standing, hopping once the torso is upright. Land with control, then slowly lower your torso, and bend your knee to touch the floor again.
- Start in a squat with your arms by your sides.
- Swing your arms to the ceiling, and jump.
- Land quietly as you return to the squat position. This completes one rep.