Advanced strength exercises for runners - Women's Running

Advanced strength exercises for runners

Author: Chris Macdonald

Read Time:   |  August 4, 2017

Advanced strength exercises for runners

Regular strength training twice a week will help maintain good running technique, improve power and reduce risk of injury. But if you’re already doing exercises like squats, glute bridges and hamstring curls, you may find that these exercises no longer seem as challenging, now that your strength has improved.

To continue to improve, you need to make the exercises harder. Upgrade your usual strength session with this advanced circuit, integrating eight challenging exercises to get your heart pumping and your legs shaking! Perform three sets of 8-18 repetitions, depending on your strength.

Side plank with leg raise

Side plank with leg raise

Muscles worked: The obliques (side muscles)
Technique:
• Lie sideways on a mat, place your forearm on the mat underneath your shoulder with your arm at a 90-degree angle.
• Place your upper leg directly on top of your lower leg.
• Make sure your knees and hips are straight.
• Raise your body upwards to form a side plank and lift the top leg up higher than your top hip.
• Then slowly lower it down to the bottom leg.
• Keep your waist up, don’t sink down.
• Repeat on the other side.

Pistol squat

Pistol squat

Muscles worked: Hips, glutes, hamstrings (rear thighs), quadriceps (front thighs)
Technique:
• Stand upright with your arms extended out in front of you.
• Balance on one leg (keeping your pelvis straight) with the other leg extended out straight and forwards, as high as you can.
• Squat down as low as possible while keeping the extended leg up off the floor.
• Keep your back straight and your chest lifted.
• Gently lift your body back up to a standing position.
• The supporting knee should be facing the same direction as your foot.
• If you find this very difficult, don’t try to squat too low or have a bar or wall ready for support.

Single-arm dumbbell row

Single-arm dumbell row

Muscles worked: Back and biceps
Technique:
• Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and kneel down on a flat bench.
• Place your right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend forward from the waist until your back is flat and place your right hand on the bench for support.
• Keeping your back straight, pull the dumbbell towards the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your body.
• Breathe out as you pull the dumbbell up and don’t twist your torso.
• Return to the start position.
• Perform 8-12 repetitions then switch sides and repeat with the other arm.
Tip: Keep the dumbbell close to your body as you pull the dumbbell upwards.

Single-leg plank

Single-leg side plank

Muscles worked: The core
Technique:
• Start in a normal plank position, i.e. lie face down, hands shoulder-width apart, palms flat on the floor. Come up onto your elbows and make sure your back is flat.
• Draw your belly button in towards your spine.
• Slowly lift one foot off the floor and hold.
• Lower the leg back down to the floor and repeat on the other leg.
• To make it harder, increase the time you hold the move.

Resistance v-sit pull

Resistance v-sit pull

Muscles worked: The core
Technique:
• Tie a resistance band around a secure object.
• Sit in a V-sit position and hook both feet into the resistance band loop.
• Ensure you have a little bit of tension on the resistance band when your legs are straight.
• Pull your knees into your chest.

Burpes with press-up

Burpees with press up

Muscles worked: Legs, upper body and core; good for explosive power
Technique:
• Squat down on the floor.
• Quickly push your legs back behind you into a press-up position.
• Perform a press-up then draw your legs back underneath your hips and explode
up into the air.
• Land with your knees soft and repeat again without rest.
• Extend your legs completely when in the press-up position.

Single leg stability ball curls

Single leg stability ball curls

Muscles worked: Hamstrings, glutes, core
Technique:
• Place a stability ball by your feet.
• Lie down on a mat on your back, place the heel of one foot on the ball
and extend the other leg up to the ceiling.
• Lift your hips up off the floor so that you have a straight line between
your shoulders, hips and heel.
• Keeping your hips elevated, tighten your core and use one heel to roll
the ball towards you, keeping the other heel on the ball.
• Repeat with the other leg.

Single leg glute bridge

Single leg glute bridge

Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, stomach and lower back
Technique:
• Lie on the floor on your back and keep one foot on the floor, extending the other leg up to the ceiling.
• Raise your bottom off the ground, keeping your hips level.
• Drive through the heel as you do the

Chris Macdonald

Editor-at-Large, Women's Running

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