5 Strength and conditioning exercises for runners

running exercises

Without a doubt, runners need to build their strength and condition their bodies. This is to prevent injuries that are basically an occupational hazard, as well as build their muscles for agility and explosiveness, both of which will come in handy when sprinting. 

A good runner knows the invaluable worth of complimentary workouts, as they are the backbone of great endurance training. Here are the top five running-specific exercises that will help any runner build strength and muscular sturdiness to increase resilience against stress and injury when they strap on their gym kit and training shoes for running.

1. Reverse Lunge

These are just like normal lunges but as the word suggests, are reversed. To do the reverse lunge, simply stand with the feet as apart as your hip width, take your right foot one wide step back then lower your body. This will mean that the left foot should now be at a 90-degree angle. In order to transmit the pressure to the entire body, maintain a sturdy core, by observing an upright posture. After a few minutes, stand back to the original position then take the left leg back, and the right leg now at 90 degrees. Keep at it until each leg has 2 or 3 sets of about 11 reps each. If you’re new to this, you may start off with simple reverse lunges but an experienced runner can add more value by accompanying the reverse lunges with dumbells in the hands to increase the weight, therefore build more pressure.

Reverse lunges strengthen the calves, glutes, quads, and the core. They improve stability more than squats do since one leg is used to keep the body upright. 

2. Single-Leg Deadlift

Just like the first exercise, take the original hip-width feet apart position, raise the left leg, leaving the right leg to hold all the weight. Maintain this posture then slowly hinge at your hips to bend forward, while straightening the raised leg to form the letter T, with the right leg being the vertical piece, and your upper body and left leg being the horizontal piece. keep the back firm to transmit the pressure to the abs. pause for a breath then started again. do a set of two or three then exchange the legs, making sure that each leg has been the foundation for 10 or more times. Additional weight from kettlebells and medicine balls can be used by advanced runners.

Single-leg deadlifts empower the hips, hamstrings, back, core, and glutes. They reset any imbalances present and increase leg stability.

3. Bird Dog

Interesting name right? As the name suggests, start in an all four position, hands and knees touching the ground, ensuring the back is straightened and the pressure is being felt at your core. This is the dog position. From here, turn into a bird by extending the right arm and left leg out. Ensure they are parallel with the floor. This is possibly the closest you’ll come to flying so enjoy it! Pause for a few seconds, then do two or three intermittent sets. Keep interchanging the legs to complete one rep. For this one, a minimum of 12 reps and a maximum of 15 should be done. 

Bird dogs strengthen the back, glutes, and core and help you build balance.

4. Side Plank

Just like the word says, these are regular planks done in a side-lying position. Simply stack your hips shoulders and knees, as you lie on the right side then lift the entire body using the right forearm, the elbow, and shoulder making a perfect 90-degree angle with the floor. From here raise the hips so that the side pad of the right foot and right forearm are the only ones touching the ground. Engage your core by pulling in the navel towards the spine. Hold for around 40 seconds, take a rest then return. Complete 3 sets then change sides.

This one builds the back, core, glute, core, and hip strength.

5. Clamshells

Bend the knees and stack your hips, elbows, feet, and keens stack while lying on the left side. Prop the head up or rest it on your arms then raise the knee upwards by rotating from your hip while trying to keep the feet together. Repeat 2/3 sets for 15 times. 

These strengthen the glutes, adductor muscles, and hips. 

With these five exercises, and awesome running shoes you’re ready to secure the bag with a body as swift and fit as a cheetah’s!


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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