As runners, we’re aware of what we can achieve with just our body and mind and without relying on machines and gyms. Just running by itself, unfortunately, is not enough to keep our running form in order. Due to its repetitive dependence on particular muscle groups, running overuses some parts of the body while neglecting others.
But there’s no need to go looking for a gym membership right away, and even if you have one, you’ll be amazed what you can do with your own bodyweight and what’s lying around your home. Follow these easy exercises for runners if you are confined to a home workout routine.
Calf Raising Wide Squats
Stand with feet wider than shoulder distance apart and your arms out in front of you. You can choose to hold a banister or window grill for support. Bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your weight through the heels. Keep your chest up and shoulders back as you exhale and extend your legs back up to the starting position. Upon reaching the top, elevate your heels up as high as you can while contracting your calves. Balance on your toes for a moment and bring your heels back to the ground. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Benefit: This routine really works your quads and is great for ankle strengthening.
Lie on your back with your feet on a chair that’s braced against a wall. Lift your butt. Then lift one leg off the chair. Lower yourself slowly back down to the floor, using the strength of the hamstrings of the leg remaining on the chair. Do 10 sets with each leg.
Benefit: Strengthens you hamstrings and also works on your glutes.
Sit in a chair and hold a bottle filled with water or sand in one hand. Keeping your back straight, lean forward from the waist and rest your elbow on the same leg, just above your knee. Flex your right elbow and slowly lift the weight toward your shoulder. Maintain a fist-distance to your body at the top of the movement and then lower your arm down. Complete 10-12 reps on one side, then switch.
Benefit: Your arms are your propellers. This routine keeps them strong.
Lower-body Russian Twist
Lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent 90-degrees. Without unbending your hips or knees, lower your legs to the left side of your body while keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. Lift them back to the starting position, and repeat on the right side of your body. That’s one repetition. Do about 10-12 reps.
Benefit: This works on your core, particularly the muscle groups that help you stride more powerfully during runs.
If your goal is to run efficiently without injuries and with regular leaps in performance, you actually need to take some time off running and dedicate it to strengthening and adding flexibility to your core muscles.