3 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Runners
When setting a PR is at the top of your goals list, it can be tempting to spend all your time on the track trying to shave seconds off your time.
But becoming a better runner requires more than just miles. Adding other fitness activities, especially strength training, is crucial to becoming a stronger, healthier runner.
“Incorporating other fitness activities allows your body to flush out the toxins without putting more miles on your legs in terms of your bodyweight pounding the pavement,” says physical therapist Marisa Rose.
Rose recommends adding a few days of strength training per week to help with common running injuries such as pain in the IT band, knee and shin.
While your Floatride running shoes will help take you through your toughest runs, don’t skimp on your gym time. These are Rose’s favorite bodyweight exercises for runners.
1. Single Leg Squat
Stand on one leg, resting your hands on the back of a chair for stability. Lower yourself down by bending the knee to a 90-degree angle, tracking the knee directly forward toward the second and third toes.
Remember to keep your heel flat on the floor and your knee behind your toes as you squat. Return to a one-legged standing position, squeezing your glutes as you stand.
Repeat several times with both legs.
“The single leg squat strengthens the glutes and quads in a standing position, which is more functional for runners than sitting,” says Rose. "It also helps with calf strains, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.”
2. Mountain Climber
Begin in a standard plank position, with a flat back and palms on the ground. Rotate your hip out and then up, moving your right knee to your right elbow.
Return back to the plank position, repeating several times with both legs.
“Mountain climbers target the core and hip flexors to promote better posture, hip flexibility and core strength,” says Rose. “Keep your core and shoulder blades engaged to maintain a flat back – don’t sag your hips or arch your back.”
3. Side Angle Pose
Stand in a lunge position, but facing your torso to the side instead of forward. Bring your torso toward your bent leg while stretching your top hand above your head and lower hand to the floor.
Hold for one minute, then switch sides.
“Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your feet,” says Rose. “The side angle pose isometrically strengthens many of the same muscles used in running.”
“The pose targets the quads, spine rotators, glutes and hip muscles. It also stretches the lower spine and groin and opens the chest and lungs.”
While the side angle pose is typically a yoga staple, runners benefit from it too. Adding these three exercises to your routine will help keep runners strong, fit and healthy.
What are your favorite bodyweight exercises? Let us know by tweeting @Reebok !