Meet the moves that will strengthen all the right running muscles—no equipment necessary.
Prevent common running injuries by adding strength exercises to your weekly workout routine—no equipment By targeting your legs, core, and even your upper body with a few simple bodyweight exercises, you’ll strengthen your stride and maintain better posture.
How to use this list: Try incorporating five exercises below into your workout at least three times a week. Do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise for three or more sets. The list is ordered according to body part: lower body, core, and upper body. You can opt for five exercises per muscle group (for example: one week might include a leg-day workout, a core-focused routine, and an upper body session) or opt for a mix of moves to target your entire body. Either way, make sure you hit head to toe by week’s end.
(1) Plank: The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core
strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum
possible time.Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists. Step feet back and engage glutes and
thighs to keep legs straight. Body should form a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels.
Think about pushing the ground away from you and pulling the belly button up toward the spine
to keep back flat. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
The plank strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank
Primary muscles: erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominis.
Secondary muscles (synergists/segmental stabilizers): trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff,
the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior,
gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius.
Knack Weight Training for Women: Step-by-Step Exercises for Weight Loss, Leah Garcia, p. 57.
Quote: “Plank variations are abundant, and small changes increase the intensity of the exercise.”
(2) Glute Bridge: Lie faceup, knees bent, and feet planted on the floor. Drive through heels,
contracting the glutes to send hips toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line
from shoulders to knees. Lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.The Glute Bridge is one
of the most effective exercises to tone the glutes and the hamstrings. This lower body workout
isolates and strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, the core stability muscles, the hip muscles, the
lower back muscles, and strengthens the
stabilization of the spinal cord.
(3)Lunge: Lunges are a good exercise for strengthening, sculpting and building several
muscles/muscle groups, including the quadriceps (or thighs), the gluteus maximus (or buttocks)
as well as the hamstrings.Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with right foot, bending
both knees to 90 degrees. Drive through right heel to stand, while stepping left foot forward and
dropping into a lunge on the left side. Continue walking forward, making sure back knee hovers
just off the floor with each step. You can perform this move with body weight. Do 10 to 15 reps
“Forward Lunge”. Ace Get Fit. Ace Fitness. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
(4) Air Squat: An air squat, also called a body weight squat, is an effective exercise for both the
beginner and the advanced athlete. It uses just your body weight to tone and strengthen the
muscles of your buttocks–gluteus minimus and maximus–and your thigh muscles, the
hamstrings and quadriceps. Air squats also increase flexibility in the hamstrings and glutes.Start
standing with feet just wider than hip-width apart, toes
pointed slightly out, clasp hands at chest for balance. Send
hips back and bend at knees to lower down as far as possible
with chest lifted. Press through heels back up to starting
position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
(5) Single-Leg Balance: The single leg stance is a very effective exercise for improving balance.
The ability to stand on one leg is important; when walking, you spend about 40% of your time
with one foot on the ground as one leg is swinging through the air.Start standing with hands on
hips. Shift weight to left leg and bring right knee up so hip, knee, and ankle form 90-degree
angles. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on other leg.