8 Awesome Exercises for Strength Training For Runners & No

In this blog post, You’ll learn 8 exercises for strength training for runners and the good thing is – no equipment needed and it is a simple but very effective exercise for strength training for runners.

Strength training for runners:

We constantly have a bad conscience because we do too little for our muscles. Many of us prefer to run for an hour than to do a circuit training for 20 minutes.

Even though we know the advantages of a strong body:

  • lower risk of injury
  • more efficient running style
  • higher speed
  • higher basal metabolic rate (caloric consumption of the body at rest)
  •  and of course, a powerful body just looks good!

So what prevents us from investing half an hour in strength and stabilization training once or twice a week? We have too little time, sure. And the time we have, we prefer to spend in our running shoes and in the fresh air than in musty gyms or hobby cellars.

Often, however, we also lack a clear Plan: which exercises bring us the most, how often should we do strength training, and for how long?

The most important thing is to start at all and make regular strength training a habit. Later, there is still time enough to grind on the subtleties and ideally adapt the program to individual needs.

Strength training doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive
The beauty of strength and stabilization training: There are countless exercises that you can perform without any expensive equipment.

Running keeps you fit and is good for the cardiovascular system. Some jog loosely to balance, others run to power out, for more stamina and strong legs. Both help with weight loss and strengthen body feeling. Running is popular. You only need two healthy legs and your running shoes. So Regular jogging is enough – isn’t it?
Learn here why specific strength training for the entire body simply belongs to running training. Plus: the best Workout Exercises for runners for the upper and lower body. Because of strong muscles from head to toe, that’s what every athlete wants.

Targeted strength exercises especially for runners

Strength athletes, who steel their muscles in the Gym, run more as a supplement or to Warm-up. And because it is good for fitness – martial artists, for example, jog to improve their basic endurance.
However, if you regularly put on your running shoes and run professionally, you should be of the stature rather light and wiry, in order to progress faster and last longer. Every Kilo more on the ribs, the runner must finally carry along. A common fear: strength training make thick, big muscles. They were heavy and would interfere with jogging. This is wrong. Targeted strength training for runners strengthens the muscles that tend to be neglected when running, and runners benefit from this in many ways.

Strength training: more stability, fewer injuries

Who runs exclusively, trains unilaterally, certain muscle groups are disadvantaged. The legs are strong, the upper body less. An imbalance can arise, which must be avoided.
Strength training is a different strain than jogging and should be an integral part of running training. The focus is on the muscles that usually fall short when running: back, shoulder, neck, chest and core muscles. But the muscles you need to run can also be strengthened with the right strength exercises.
Strength training, including stability exercises for legs and torso, is not only recommended for ambitious runners who want to become faster and more stable or optimize their running style. All joggers benefit from strength exercises for runners because the exercises improve the intermuscular interaction. Trained muscles protect the joints and thus reduce the risk of injury. They ensure an upright posture and reduce the occurrence of knee and back pain. Targeted strength training for runners prevents such typical problems.

Exercises with your own body weight:

An effective strength Workout for runners works wonderfully even with exercises with your own body weight. This means you can save yourself the Gym. Most strength exercises for runners can be done at home or combined with your running training in the fresh air.
Training methods such as HIIT are short and crisp, providing more strength and stamina. Yoga with exercises (asanas) such as dog, warrior, and tree makes you more mobile and increases coordination and sense of balance. Yoga offers itself as a Warm-up before running; in addition, there are different types of Yoga for powering.

So how you can do strength training exercise and train virtually any muscle in any intensity with just your own body weight. Only everyday objects such as towels, water bottle crutches are occasionally used in his exercises.

Our recommendation is, therefore: if you do not do regular strength training yet, start now!

We turned our living room into a photo studio and documented eight of our favorite exercises for you. The selected exercises train arms, shoulders, chest, back, stomach, and thighs, and thus all muscle groups that are involved in running but are not sufficiently strengthened by running training alone.

Correct execution is particularly important, which often poses a challenge for beginners with weak muscles. It applies: at the beginning rather only a few, but technically cleanly carried out repetitions!

At the end of this post, you will find two suggestions on how to combine the presented exercises into a 20 to 30-minute circuit training.

Eight stabilization and strength training for runners

Exercise 1: Push-Ups


Facedown on the floor and the hands slightly below shoulder height next to your body position. Build up body tension and push through the arms until they are almost completely stretched (do not stretch completely, otherwise the risk of injury increases). Then slowly lower the body again until the elbows are at shoulder height and stretch again.

The gaze should be directed downwards all the time (i.e., neither at your feet nor looking forward).

There are two ways to lower the difficulty of push-ups:

Either by bringing your knees to the floor (preferably a mat or blanket underneath)
or by placing your hands higher, e.g., on a bench or bedstead.
The higher the hands are compared to the feet, the easier the exercise. The same applies the other way around: if you want to increase the difficulty level, you can place your feet higher than your hands.

Exercise 2: Side Plank

With the side support, the bodyweight is stored on the elbow and forearm or you can keep your hand straight, so it is more comfortable to carry out on a training mat or blanket. The body forms a Straight line from the feet to the head and is held in this position.

Very important for the side support is the body tension: especially the abdominal muscles should be strained, the hip must not sag. You can, for example, control the correct execution in a mirror or window, or you can let a (training)partner “straighten you out.”

Variation: you can increase the difficulty by slowly raising and lowering the upper leg repeatedly.

Exercise 3: Plank

Rest on your knees and elbows. Slowly raise the knees until the body forms a straight line from the head to the feet. Your hips should not SAG! The head is straight in the lengthening of the spine, looking down (neither at your feet nor looking forward).

Please do not forget to breathe and keep the front support as long as possible. In the beginning, it is not easy, but if you do the exercise regularly, you will quickly find success.

Increase: lift the right foot off the ground and hold the front support. Change the leg after 10 seconds.

Tip: This exercise is best done barefoot, as you can easily slip away with socks (also applies to push-ups and side support!). A Mat or towel is ideal for when the ground is very hard.

Exercise 4: Crunches

Lay on your back, put your feet up, put your fingertips to the back of your head, your elbows point outwards.

Now slowly raise the upper back so that the shoulders detach from the floor. Keep the top short, and slowly lower again.

Never work with momentum, always emphasize slowly. When you go up, you breathe out. When you go down, you breathe in. Your fingers never pull or guide the head.

Increase: the Crunches become more difficult when you angle your legs and hold your feet in the air (see the basic position of the exercise “leg-lowering”).

Exercise 5: Bicycle Crunches


Lay on your back, put your hands on your hips or neck and angle your legs so that a 90 ° angle is created between your torso and your thighs as well as between your upper and lower legs.

Now lower the left or right leg alternately and stretch it through until the heel almost touches the ground. Hold this position for about 1 second and return the leg back to the basic position.

In this exercise, it is very important that you keep the abdominal muscles constantly tense and that the back from the hip upwards rests completely on the pad – if you fall into the hollow cross when lowering the legs, you should reduce the degree of difficulty, e.g., by not stretching the leg when lowering but leaving it bent.

Exercise 6: Swimming Pilates Mat Exercise

Lie on your stomach on a mat or towel. Arms and legs stretch out. The head is in the lengthening of the spine, looking down (neither looking forward nor towards the abdomen). Now slowly lift both arms and both legs to get into the basic position.

Starting from the basic position, the right arm and the left leg slowly lift and lower the left arm and the right leg lifting up and change again.

Do the exercise in a controlled and slow way at the beginning and get faster with time – you can “pump” the last 20 seconds! Your entire body and your head do not move – only arms and legs! A thicker mat simultaneously trains the balance.

And also here: please do not hold your breath-do not forget to breathe.

Exercise 7: Squat

Stand straight, put the feet about shoulder-width apart and let the arms hang loosely. The tips of the feet point slightly outwards.

From this position, quickly squat down, bringing the buttocks as far back as possible (as if you wanted to sit on a chair) – the knees should stay behind the tips of your toes at all times! To maintain balance, you need to bend the torso forward a little and stretch out your arms.

As soon as you are in the deep squat, you push yourself out of the thighs quickly back into the basic position. The entire squat should be a smooth movement, without interruptions or breaks.

Exercise 8: Lunges

Lose the legs hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right foot and support your arms loosely in your hip – that’s the basic position.

Now bend both legs and move the left knee towards the ground. Important: the right knee always stays behind the tip of the foot! Now slowly press back up and repeat several times.

Then put your left foot forward and do the exercise for the other side.

Circuit training: 2-3 times a week 20-30 minutes is enough!

Two to three times a week, you should do a circuit training, in which you perform the exercises presented above in a row.

We have put together two variants, which are aimed at beginners and advanced users, and each takes about 20-30 minutes.

The breaks between the individual exercises should only last as long as you need to change position. In this way, circuit training has a training effect on the condition!

Strength Training For Beginners

  • Push-ups on the knees: 15x
  • Crunches: 2x 10 repetitions, in between 15 seconds break
  • Bicycle crunches: alternately 10x per side
  • Plank: 3x 15 seconds, in between 15 seconds break
  • Swimming Pilates Mat Exercise: 2 times alternating 10 times per side, in between 15 seconds break
  • Side Plank: hold 2x per side for 15 seconds, change without Pause
  • Squats: 10x
  • Lunges: 10x per page
  • 1-2 minute break, then repeat all exercises again

Here are some additional strength training exercises for a runner to train specific body Part:

Strength exercises for runners: get your upper body in shape

After the last Sprint Session, your legs were glowing. But when was the last time you really felt your upper body? Here are some basic strength exercises that you should do regularly:
  • Dips on the chair or park bench-this allows you to train triceps and shoulders in particular.
  • Push-ups are the classic Bodyweight exercises for runners. Press up or hold up. Tension is everything! Depending on the version, you particularly need arms, chest or shoulders.
  • Take more time to hang out! With chin-ups on the chin-up bar, you mainly train arms, shoulders and the big back muscle. Tip: hold up and try isometric training!

Stability exercises for runners: hold tension in the trunk and back

You also need your abdominal and back muscles for running, they provide, among other things, an upright posture. The following exercises make you more stable:
  • Sit – ups-not only straight, but also rotating and diagonal to the knees.
  • With the pelvic lift, you train your buttocks in addition to the trunk muscles. Lie on your back, put both feet down, your arms are next to your body. Lift your pelvis so that your torso and thigh form a line. Hold the stability exercise for ten to 15 seconds, then settle slowly.
  • The Plank (front support) is an excellent core exercise, for it, you change from the supine position to the abdominal position. Tip: Use Pezziball and do not forget the side support. Also good: back support. To do this, turn back on your back, place your forearms close to your upper body. Lift pelvis and hold the position.
  • The so-called U-Hold is also a great back exercise. Lie on your stomach and stretch your legs. Raise the arms so that the upper and lower arms form a 90 – degree angle. Keep the neck straight, look downwards and raise the upper body upwards until the tension is noticeable in the lower back. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and lower slowly.

Legs, buttocks, and calves: stability workout for runners

Targeted leg training is especially important for runners who sometimes suffer from knee, shin or foot pain. Strength training increases the stability of the legs. These Exercises are particularly effective:
  • Do squats in different variants, for example, Jump Squats, one-legged squats (Pistol Squats) and lunges.
  • Rope jumping, Boxjump, Scalf paddles, and stairs-Workout steel your calves.
  • Train your legs and knees with a flexible rubber band. Loop one end around afoot, the other end around a lantern or bedpost tighten your leg muscles and move your outstretched leg alternately and slowly against the ligament tension in all directions. Then change the foot.

Strength training for jogging: that’s how it works!

The strength exercises for runners can be integrated into your training plan in many ways. Rule of thumb: if you run three to four times a week, you should include at least one to two intensive strength training sessions as additional circuit training. 20 to 30 minutes is enough.

With the following exercises, you bring variety into your running training plan:

  • During Split Training, you separate running and strength training from each other. One day jogging, the following day exercising the upper body with a Tabata Workout or TRX Workout.
  • You can also combine strength training with running training. At an interval training first, warm-up, then do bodyweight exercises for runners. Then continue running.
  • With Functional Training, you train your muscles extensively before running. Burpees have it all! Then jog a few kilometers with moderate effort. It also works the other way around. You decide what is better for you.

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