Total body workout for runners - Women's Running

Total body workout for runners

Read Time:   |  September 1, 2021

Try this total body workout on your own or with a friend – it's bound to improve your overall strength, making you a better runner

You can do this total body workout outdoors or in the comfort of your own home – all you need is a bench or chair, a balance ball and a couple of weights to complete this set of circuits, working the core, the thighs, the arms and the bum.

Warm up: Jog on the spot for one minute. Perform 20 squats, extending your arms up on every repetition.

Sets and reps: Perform each exercise for one minute with 20 seconds rest in between each exercise. Rest for one minute before repeating all the exercises a second time.

Cool down: Ensure that you do a full-body stretch after the workout – our wellbeing workout has some great stretches if you need inspiration. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.

Walking lunge

Areas trained
Thighs (quadriceps, hamstrings), bottom (gluteus)

Why do it?
This is a great exercise to burn calories, improve your fitness and tone all the muscles in your thighs.

Technique: 

  • Hold a weight in each hand
  • Step forward with your right leg
  • Bend both knees until your left knee nearly touches the floor
  • Lift up and step forward with your left leg
  • Repeat the move five to 10 steps forward depending on your available space then turn around and walk back

Be safe
Don’t lean forward with your upper body and don’t look down.

Side lunge with lateral raise

Areas trained
Outer thighs (abductors), inner thighs (adductors), shoulders (deltoids)

Why do it?
Combining different exercises is more time-efficient and helps to burn more calories while sculpting your muscles.

Technique:

  • Stand with your legs together, holding a small weight in each hand
  • Step sideways with your left leg
  • Bend your left knee while keeping your right leg straight
  • Simultaneously lift both arms sideways to shoulder height
  • Step back to the centre position and repeat to the other side
  • Alternate between left and right

Be safe
Keep your back straight, tummy muscles tight and look forward, not down.

Single leg squat

Areas trained
Thighs (quadriceps, hamstrings), bottom (gluteus), balance

Why do it?
Balancing exercises will increase your muscle tone and strength.

Technique:

  • Stand on your left leg
  • Hold a weight in each hand
  • Bend your left knee as much as possible
  • Straighten your leg back to the standing position
  • Complete one set on your left leg before changing over to the right

Be safe
Ensure that you only go as low as your knee will allow you. The stronger you get, the lower you’ll be able to go.

Straight arm and leg crunches

Areas trained
Stomach muscles (rectus abdominus)

Why do it?
Strengthening your stomach muscles will improve your posture.

Technique:

  • Lie on your back on the floor
  • Extend your right arm and right leg
  • Keep your left leg at a right angle and your left arm behind your head for support
  • Crunch up and lift your right arm and leg up until you can touch your leg
  • Slowly lower with control

Be safe
Make sure that your back doesn’t arch off the floor when you extend your arm and leg.

Ball side leg lifts

Areas trained
Outer thighs and bottom (Abductors and glutes)

Why do it?
Toning your bottom and outer thighs can significantly increase the power of your stride

Technique:

  • Kneel on your right knee next to a stability ball and extend your left leg sideways
  • Lift your left leg until it is hip level
  • Lower your leg until your foot touches the floor
  • Don’t rest on the floor

Be safe
Keep your back straight and tummy muscles tight.

Dips

Areas trained
Back of your upper arm (triceps)

Why do it?
Weak muscles in your arms can seriously hamper your running. The more you tone the muscles, the easier you’ll find running uphill. Fact!

Technique:

  • Sit on a chair and place your hands next to your hips on the chair, fingers facing forward
  • Lift your bottom off the chair
  • Bend your arms until they form a 90-degree angle at the elbow
  • Push back up to the starting position

Be safe
Keeping your knees bent is the easy version. The more you straighten your legs, the harder this exercise becomes as it makes you hold more bodyweight.

Side plank

Areas trained
Side muscles (obliques)

Why do it?
Increasing the time you can hold this postion will help to strengthen your core and improve your form.

Technique:

  • Lie on your right side on the floor
  • Place your elbow directly underneath your shoulder
  • Lift your hips off the floor to form a straight line between your feet hips and shoulders
  • Hold the position

Be safe
If this is too hard, bend your legs and keep your knees on the floor.

Top knee to top elbow

Areas trained
Side muscles (obliques)

Why do it?
Strengthening your side muscles will shape your waistline.

Technique:

  • Lie on your right side and roll slightly backwards so that you balance on the soft part of your bottom
  • Place your hands behind your head
  • Extend your legs out to 45 degrees
  • Tuck your knees in until your top knee touches your top elbow

Be safe
Keep your bottom elbow on the floor for balance.

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Currently training for her second half marathon

Meet the team

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