5 Strength Training Exercises Every Runner Needs to Do

by Zarelda Marie Goh
FITNESS  |  July 14, 2020
  • Run stronger by doing these strength exercises regularly
    1 / 6 Run stronger by doing these strength exercises regularly

    Strength and conditioning is essential for every runner. Do these five bodyweight exercises daily (for best results) to build strength, flexibility and muscle tone. They are recommended by running coach Andrew Cheong of SSTAR.fitness.

    (Also read: Running For Weight Loss? Tips to Make It Work)

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • 1. Plank
    2 / 6 1. Plank

    This exercise strengthens the back muscle. A strong back will result in good posture and a more efficient running gait.

    1. Face the ground, extend your arms and support yourself with palms and toes.
    2. Transition to rest on elbows, but continue to support yourself on your toes. Keep the back straight.
    3. Hold this position for 30 seconds and work towards up to three minutes.

    (Also read: 8 Full-Body Exercises You Can Do in High Plank)

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  • 2. Lateral Leg Lifts
    3 / 6 2. Lateral Leg Lifts

    This exercise targets the abductor muscles of the hip flexor muscle group, especially the tensor fasciae latae. It stabilises the hips when running and during daily activities.

    1. Lie on your side, legs extended.
    2. Lift the upper leg, away from the ground. Keep the leg straight, knee locked. At the top of the range of motion, hold it for five seconds and lower it back to the start position.
    3. Repeat at least 10 times; aim to do up to 20.
    4. For comfort, you can keep the leg nearest to the floor slightly bent.
    5. Repeat with the other leg.
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  • 3. Wall Sit
    4 / 6 3. Wall Sit

    This is another isometric (no movement) exercise, which is safer than exercises that involve movement. It builds strength in the thighs.

    1. Stand with your back touching a wall.
    2. Squat to a half-sitting position, where your knees are bent at 90 degrees and directly over your toes. Ensure your toes are parallel.
    3. Hold this position for 30 seconds and work towards up to three minutes.

    (Also read: The Best Breakfast to Eat Before Every Type of Workout)

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  • 4. Push-Ups
    5 / 6 4. Push-Ups

    These build overall upper-body strength, especially in the chest and shoulders. Most runners neglect their upper body. If you just want to do one exercise for the upper body, push-ups are it. Strong deltoids ensure that you don’t get fatigued from arm swings.

    1. Adopt the plank position, with your palms on the floor.
    2. Keeping the body straight, bend the elbows and lower the chest towards the floor.
    3. At the lowest point, straighten the elbows and return to the start position.
    4. Repeat at least 10 times; aim to do up to 20.
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  • 5. Bridge
    6 / 6 5. Bridge

    This move strengthens the buttocks, hamstrings, back and stomach. Strong hamstrings are essential for runners to counterbalance their strong thigh muscles. The buttocks are the largest muscle in the body and are often underused when running.

    1. Lie on your back, face upwards. Bend the knees to 90 degrees, and keep the feet flat on the floor.
    2. Raise the hips and lift the buttocks off the floor. Hold that position for 10 to 30 seconds, ensuring that the knees, hip and shoulders are in a flat plane (no sagging of the hips).
    3. Lower the hips back to the start position.
    4. Repeat 10 times.

    (Also read: How Swimming Can Make You a Faster Runner)

    Exercise photos: Frencheschar Lim/SPH Magazines

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