Beat Your Race Pace with Bodyweight Strength Training for Runners

If you’re a runner, adding resistance training to your routine is a great way to improve your performance.

Many runners avoid lifting weights because they think it will make them too bulky, but that’s not the case! In fact, adding bodyweight strength exercises for runners to your routine can help you become faster and more agile.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of bodyweight exercises for runners and then provide a list of the best exercises. We’ll also include how to do each exercise and common mistakes people make when performing them.

Benefits of bodyweight exercises for runners

While it is obvious that runners need to practice running and sprinting to improve at their chosen sport, the benefits of resistance training for runners may not be as obvious.

Here are some of the most notable benefits of doing bodyweight exercises for runners.

1. Stronger running muscles

For starters, bodyweight exercises help strengthen the same muscles involved in running, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Stronger muscles can mean better performance, which helps you become a better runner in general.(1) (2)

2. Improved running posture

Any veteran runner can tell you about the discomfort and muscle tension that comes from running long distances with the wrong posture. Bodyweight exercises help strengthen your core and back muscles, which can help you maintain proper posture when running.(3)

3. Eliminate (or significantly reduce) muscle compensation patterns

Your body is always looking for the easiest way to accomplish a task, and if your muscles aren’t strong enough to do the job, they will begin to compensate. In the case of running, if your glutes are weak, you may be putting a lot of unnecessary stress on your lower back.

Bodyweight exercises help keep muscles balanced, which can reduce the risk of injuries caused by muscle imbalances.

4. Lower risk of injury

Continuing with the previous point, by correcting postural distortions and overcompensation problems, runners are less likely to experience sudden situations. sports injuries.(4)

5. Better overall biomechanics

Above all, one of the best reasons for runners to start strength training through bodyweight exercises is the vast improvement in overall biomechanics. In other words, your muscles will learn to work together more effectively. This will help with proper form and technique, as well as overall performance.

Are bodyweight exercises enough for runners?

Yes, bodyweight exercises are enough for runners. Keep in mind that as a runner, your goal is build strength and resistance in the muscles most used when running.

While weight lifting can also be very beneficial for runners, it is not a requirement. Bodyweight exercises can provide these benefits without having to lift weights or use machines.

The problem is that it is recommended to focus on powerful movements that target all muscle groups, especially those used when running. By following a full-body workout with compound exercises, you can gain the muscle strength and endurance needed to improve running performance.

What are the best bodyweight exercises for runners?

Now that we’ve looked at why bodyweight exercises are beneficial for runners, let’s go over some of the best bodyweight exercises for runners.

After reviewing these exercises, you will have a full body workout so you can start right away!

180 jump squats

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40MAnlZbB_Q

Muscles worked:

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

How to perform 180 jump squats:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outward.
  • Start by sitting in a half-squat position, then quickly jump as high as you can while rotating 180 degrees in the air.
  • Land softly on your feet.

Superman Shooter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1OI7b51gLA

Muscles worked:

  • Lower back
  • Upper back
  • Buttocks
  • Hamstrings
  • Center

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

How to perform:

  • Start face down with your arms extended in front of you.
  • Engage your glutes and core as you slowly lift both legs and arms off the ground.
  • Keep your feet elevated off the ground while pulling your arms back as if forming a goal post.
  • Hold this position for a second or two, then lower your arms and legs.

Single leg deadlift

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_QX6r-y4U4

Muscles worked:

  • Buttocks
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Center

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

How to perform:

  • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift one leg behind you as you lean forward at the hips and lower your torso toward the floor, keeping your back flat and arms extended.
  • Lower yourself until your upper body is parallel to the floor or as much as you can while maintaining form.
  • Pause for one second and step through your heel to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.

Lizards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uway3mQmMls

Muscles worked:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Center

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of failure reps (as many as you can)

How to perform:

  • Start with your hands placed on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart, maintaining a plank position.
  • Keep your legs behind you while making sure your core is engaged.
  • Lower yourself by bending your elbows and lowering your chest toward the floor.
  • Stop once your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for a second and then return to the starting position. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line throughout the exercise.

Wall Handstand Kick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD2Tq0F9r_M

Muscles worked:

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Center
  • Hamstrings
  • Buttocks

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 6 to 12 repetitions (total)

How to perform:

  • Start by climbing a wall with your feet together and hands on the floor.
  • Once you find balance by engaging your core, slowly lift one leg up and away from the wall.
  • Pause in this position for a second and then lower your leg again.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Be careful when going down the wall.

Bridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXJd909mChk

Muscles worked:

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.

How to perform:

  • Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Plant your feet hip-width apart and press them into the floor to lift your hips.
  • Pause at the top of the position for a second, then slowly lower yourself to begin.
  • Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.

Calf Raises

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqXB_8oI2uQ

Muscles worked:

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.

How to perform:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Rise onto your toes and then pause at the top of the movement, focusing on intensely contracting your calf muscles.
  • After a moment or two, slowly lower your heels back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.
  • Make sure to keep your core engaged during this exercise.

Burpees for beginners

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ81S9ejsmc

Muscles worked:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • calves
  • Center
  • Chest
  • Back

Series and repetitions:

  • Three sets of failure reps (do as many as you can)

How to perform:

  • Before you begin, make sure you are standing with your back straight and your feet are hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees as you squat down toward the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Carefully step both feet back one at a time into a high plank position, then step back toward your hands.
  • Get up and return to the starting position.

Bodyweight Exercises for Runners: Complete Training Program

Now that you know the benefits of bodyweight exercises for runners and some of the best exercises to include in your routine, you can start incorporating them into your running regimen.

These exercises are a great start, but are you looking for a complete bodyweight exercise program, custom designed for runners? We can help!

Our Running Strong training plan in the adidas Training app It is built for runners by runners. This comprehensive program is a favorite and can help strengthen and tone muscles, improve posture, reduce your risk of injury, and even improve your performance.

Verify Run hard in the adidas Training app today!

Remember:

It is important to always warm up and stretch before attempting any of these exercises, as well as consult a doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Most importantly, keep practicing, stay safe, and have fun!

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