}

We know that running can be a great way to get fit but to decrease the risk of injury and improve your running, incorporating strength training a couple of times a week is key. It’s important to build muscular strength through strength training, to help increase power and muscular endurance.

So, here is a quick strength workout you can do anywhere, anytime. Whether it’s a rest day from running, or something you want to add on to your current plan to maximise your bodies conditioning. 

Dependent on your ability, this strength workout can be used with a dumbbell or other weights. If you’re looking for a longer and more intense workout you can increase weight and sets. See below for the different level recommendations.

When working with our bodies’ strength, we want to aim for approximately the last two reps of exercises to be really tough. We can increase intensity through adding weight, ensuring mind muscle connection, and squeezing the working muscles harder or slowing down the movement and creating more time under tension for the muscles.

So, feel free to follow along with the YouTube video or do it in your time with the below: 

Beginner

1a) Glute bridge
1b) leg flute drive 2x12 each leg
Squats 2x12
2a) Calf raise 2x 12
2b) Lunge with knee drive 2x8 each leg 
3a) Plank shoulder 2x10
3b) Plank heel 2x 10
4a) Superman stretch 2x10
4b) Press up 2x10

Intermediate

1a) Glute bridge
1b) Leg flute drive 3x12 each leg
Squats 3x12
2a) Calf raise 3x12
2b) Lunge with knee drive 3x10 each leg
3a) Plank shoulder 30 seconds
3b) Plank heel 30 seconds x3
4a) Superman stretch 3x12
4b) Press up 3x max

Advanced

1a) Glute bridge with weight/resistance band 3x10-12
1b) Leg flute drive each leg with weight/resistance band 3x10-12
Squats 3x10-12 with weight/resistance band (slow on the way down for 5)
2a) Calf raise 3x 12 with weight
2b) Lunge with knee drive 3x12 each leg
3a) Plank shoulder taps 1 min
3b) Plank heel 1 min x3
4a) Superman stretch 3x max
4b) Press up 3x max

The Exercises

The Glute bridge focuses on activating the glutes, helping you boost your stability and create balance in the muscles, ensuring your powerful glutes are working with you and therefore improving your running efficiency.

  • Laying on your back and driving your feet into the floor, raise your hips towards the sky until you create a straight line between your knees, hips and shoulders. Squeeze your glute and hamstring muscles whilst keeping your core engaged.
  • Keep your shoulders on the floor to protect your neck.
  • Hold the position for two seconds and squeeze some more before lowering slowly back down and repeating the movement.

Single leg glute bridge focuses on activating the glutes individually. This is a great way to isolate and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings whilst evening out any imbalances that you may have. Working individually on a leg ensures you are working all the muscles and makes them work harder. 

  • Lay on your back with your arms by your sides and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise one leg straight up infant of you and then drive your hips towards the sky to create a straight line between your knees, hips and shoulders.
  • Keep your shoulders on the floor to protect your neck and your raised leg high enough without losing your straight body line.
  • Hold the position for two seconds before lowering slowly back down and repeating.
  • Complete one set on one leg and then do the same on the other leg.

Squats strengthen the major muscle groups used when running helping to decrease risk of injury, improve mobility and make for a more efficient running stride.

  • Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards.
  •  Lower yourself down, bending at the knee and hip, as though you’re sitting down on a chair.
  • Keeping your chest up, lower down close to a sitting position, then push up through your heels, squeeze your glutes and return to standing.

Calf raises are amazing at strengthening the calf muscles and achilles tendon resulting in better running efficiency. Calf raises are also easy to do and can be done anywhere at any time. Think about stopping before you to get to the top of the stairs at home or standing on the edge of a curb when you have 5 minutes.

  • Stand on a step so your heel can drop lower than the rest of your foot.
  • Stand up straight, then push through the balls of your feet and raise your heel until you are standing on your toes. Then lower slowly back to the start so your heel is lower than the rest of your foot again.
  • Repeat.

A reverse lunge with knee drive activates your core, glutes, and hamstrings, whilst working on your stability, balance and stride.

  • Step your leg back into a reversed lunge. Your legs should each form a 90- degree angle.
  • With most of your weight on your front leg, push through your front heel as you simultaneously drive your back knee up and off the ground.
  • Keep your toe pointing up and forwards and your back leg driving upwards towards your chest.
  • Create a 90-degree angle at the front knee and right hip and then lower the raised knee back into a reversed lunge.

Press ups strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms which can improve your posture and your arm drive while running.

  • Lay down with your hands on the floor either side of your chest. Your toes should be tucked under. Aim to create a triangle with your hands and nose.
  • Pressing down into your hands, push the ground away and raise your body off the floor making sure to keep your back straight and core tight. Imagine bringing your belly button to your spine.
  • Extend your arms but avoiding locking your elbows, lower your body back down (maintaining a straight line) almost to the floor, and repeat by pushing back up through your hands.

The Superman helps to strengthen the middle and upper back for a more stable, upright running posture and therefore improving your running efficiency.

  • Lay face down with your hands by your ears, palms facing down.
  • Lift your chest and shoulders off the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep looking at the floor to avoid stretching your neck. Maintaining the squeeze bring your arms out in front of you and then back to the start position.
  • Lower to the start position, relax and then repeat.

Plank shoulder taps are a great plank variation that works the entire core. If you want to ensure that you’re expending your energy to help you run, rather than using energy to maintain your form, having a strong core is key. This variation helps work on stability and coordination as well as using different core muscles.

  • Start in a high plank position where you’re on your hands and your toes.
  • Keeping a straight line and strong body, lift one hand to tap to the opposite shoulder, then return to your plank before alternating hands.
  • Keep your plank strong and back straight with your core and glutes tight. Avoid moving your hips.

Plank toe taps. Like plank with shoulder taps, the toe taps help work on stability and coordination as well as using different core muscles.

  • Start in a high plank position where you’re on your hands and your toes.
  • Keeping a straight line and strong body, lift one foot and tap it out to the side of your body then return to centre, before stepping your other toe out to the other side.
  • Keep your plank strong and back straight with your core and glutes tight. Avoid moving your hips.

We’ll be back with more Coach Says soon but until then, stay tuned to our social channels for more insight from the running industries most exciting brands and to stay up -to-date with the latest and greatest running shoe releases. You can find us at:

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Chlo Hodgkinson

Content Producer
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