Thursday, May 30, 2019

Strength Training Benefits Runners + A Lower Body and Core Workout For You

There are so many benefits to strength training as a runner. A lot of times, as runners, we trade running for some other form of cardio on our cross-training days but there are a lot of reasons we should be doing strength training for our cross training instead of more cardio.  Sometimes we think that if we do strength training on our cross-training days instead of cardio we will lose some of our VO2 max or that it will make us slower, but several studies have shown that this isn't the case. Either VO2 max stayed the same or it got better.

Along with that, there are other reasons we should be strength training as runners. Having strong muscles helps us have good running form. Especially good core strength. Our muscles can hold us up better for longer so we won't slouch as much, we will be able to keep a good lean and less twisting.

Strength training also helps run faster. The stronger your legs get, the more force they are able to take for a longer time. That helps us travel further with each stride. Along those lines, have you ever noticed that while you're running, if you move your arms faster your legs will follow? Well, upper body strength helps us out there too.

One of the reasons runners get injured is because of muscle imbalances. Strength training helps us balance the things that are imbalanced. When our muscles are better balanced, we stop overcompensating for those imbalances and we get injured less and less.

There are loads of other benefits to using strength training as a runner, these are just a few of them. But clearly, it's an important thing.  As part of my 10k training, I've been doing at least one strength training workout a week.  Most of the time I do full body workouts but today I want to share a core and lower body workout that I did the other day. Any strength training is good for runners, but this one would be awesome to add into your routine once a month or so.

Heres how it goes:

2 moves then a combo move and cardio. 30 seconds each. Each round is done twice through. 

First set: Weighted squats, weighted lunges, a combo of the two and high knees

Second set: 
Curtsy lunge, single leg deadlifts, a combo of the two and jump squats. 

Third set: Tap backs, side taps, a combo of the two and plot lunges. 

Fourth Set: Donkey kicks, fire hydrants, a combo of the two and mountain climbers.

Then, Core work: 

Elevated leg crunches, toe taps, butterfly crunches, flutter kicks, v-ups. 

What is your usual go-to cross-training workout?

What is your favorite muscle group to work when doing strength training?


  1. I love working my shoulders and my hamstrings. I do CrossFit which helps both. Great workout ideas here!

    1. Ah, shoulders are probably the weakest muscle in my body right now haha...or maybe my traps. Awesome job, thanks for reading. Have a great day!