4 Must-Do Strength-Training Moves For Runners
Want to be a better runner? What about just running and feeling less tired? That seems like a reasonable goal. Or maybe you want to run without hurting your knees. The secret? Strength training. Before you build up to using weights, there are some fantastic bodyweight moves you can do (including one that uses a resistance band) that stabilize the legs and work on keeping your body strong, powerful, and aligned for running.
Do these four moves to build strength and stability for a powerful, fast, and safe run. You'll be a powerhouse in no time, and your runs will be much more enjoyable.
Side Steps With a Booty Band
- Place a resistance band around your ankles. Start with a lighter band and work your way up to a heavier band.
- Begin standing with feet directly underneath your hips and your hands on your hips.
- Squat halfway down and sidestep to the right, leading with your heel to make the glute muscles engage as far as you can manage without allowing your knees to rotate toward each other. Bring the left leg toward the right with enough space to keep some resistance in the band. Concentrate on keeping your pelvis level as you move sideways.
- Step to the right 10 times, then reverse, stepping to the left 10 times. Repeat for three sets.
- Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg to the right, until it is parallel to the ground. Avoid lifting your right hip, as you should keep both hips squared toward the floor.
- With control, lower your leg back to the ground.
- Continue for 30 seconds on the right side, then switch to the left leg for another 30 seconds. For an added challenge, wear a light resistance band around your ankles.
Side Plank March
- Lie on your side with your body in a straight line and your elbow under your shoulder. Your feet should be staggered with the foot of the top leg in front.
- Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from shoulder to ankle.
- Bring your bottom knee toward your chest, and hold for two seconds. Place your foot on the ground and raise your top knee toward your chest and hold once again for two seconds before returning to starting position. Do not sway forward or backward or let the rib cage sag while marching in this position. This completes one rep.
- Do two sets of six smooth and controlled reps on each side.
- Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
- Pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat three sets of 15 reps on each side.