New runners might believe that running is all the exercise they need to do since it’s an overall workout, and is also exhausting. But supplementing running with strengthening exercises will make you a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner as well as aid in preventing injury.

At the same time it is important to understand that runners need a different strength training program than the regular gym lover. The focus needs to be on key muscles that will keep them balanced. We’re going to list a set of exercises that should be included in your training regimen in order to up your running game.

Planks – Everyone knows how to do a simple plank. Prop yourself on your elbows with your feet slightly apart, and make sure your body is aligned, and you’re hips not too high or low. Hold this position for a minute. Take a 10 second breather, and repeat 3 times.

Scorpion – Get into a standard push-up position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now slowly raise your left knee towards your right shoulder as much as you can, and then do the reverse with the other leg. Make sure you swing your hips back down before starting up again. Do one side for 20 seconds and then switch legs. First-timers may not get the most of this exercise on the first go, but keep practicing to increase flexibility and stability.

Kettlebell squats – Hold a kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest, stand with your feet hip-width apart, do a squat, press the kettlebell above your head, and once you stand up return the kettlebell to its original position. It takes great balance to do this exercise smoothly, and you will see your breathing improve if you follow the proper routine.

Rotational shoulder press – Hold dumbbells on your shoulders. Press the dumbbells overhead as you rotate to your right. Lower them while turning back to the start position. Do 5-10 reps before proceeding for the other shoulder.

Lower body twist – Lie on your back with your legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent 90-degrees. Without changing the bend in your hips or knees, lower your legs to the left of your body while keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. Lift the legs back to the starting position, and repeat to the right side of your body. This is a great exercise to bring agility to your lower body, and strengthening your back and glutes.

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