Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners

Is lockdown getting you down? It’s time to beat the pandemic blues by dusting of those runners and going for a run around the neighborhood. A bit of fresh air and the meditative aspect of running might be just the thing you need. If you haven’t run for a while, make sure you start with shorter distances and incorporate some cross-training into your routine.

Strength training prevents injuries by strengthening connective tissues and muscles.  It can also help improve neuromuscular control and coordination so you can run more effectively. 

The following exercises are a great starting point to get you stronger and faster:

Mountain Climbers

  • Start position: Get into plank position – hands and feet on the floor.
    • Action: Pull one knee up and in toward your midsection while keeping the other foot in contact with the floor.  Repeat the action with the other knee.  Continue alternating the movement between both knees.


  • Start position: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and feet turned slightly outwards.
    • Action: Incline your trunk forward as you squat down, while maintaining a straight spine. Allow your knees to move slightly forward or in line with your toes and once you reach 90 degrees bend with your knees, push back up to return to the start position.

Reverse Lunges

  • Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Action: Step back with one foot, landing on the ball of that foot and heel up. Lower the back knee down towards the ground, keeping your trunk upright. Return to the starting position by pushing back through your back leg. Repeat for the other leg.

Glute Bridges

  • Start position: Lie on your back with your arms by your side.
    • Action: Push up through your heels and arch your back upwards towards the ceiling. Hold for the 3 seconds.

Single Leg Calf Raises

  • Start position: Stand on one leg while using one hand for balance if required
  • Action: Push up through your foot so that you are on your toes, then lower back down to the floor.

Perform 3 sets of 8-15 reps, 2-3x/week; 1 short set before running

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