When you run, your legs and core generate most of your body’s momentum. Strength training can improve your hip mobility and lower body strength, and make your run more efficient and your stride more powerful.
This workout is designed to improve agility and balance by developing the biggest muscles in your hips, glutes and legs. These muscle groups are responsible for stabilizing your entire body during a run, and building them will not only help you run harder but also faster.
Try three to five circuits of the exercises below and give yourself 90 seconds to two minutes of rest between each exercise.
10 reps of single leg Romanian deadlift (each side)
The Romanian Single-Leg Deadlift (RDL) involves leaning forward from your hips until your upper body is nearly parallel to the floor. When you lean forward, your non-weight bearing leg is extended directly behind you.
This range of motion develops hip mobility, hamstring flexibility and hip flexors.
10-15 reps of standing lunge with weights (each side)
Start by standing up straight and step forward one foot. Lean forward until your front knee reaches a 90 degree angle and your back knee is parallel to the ground. Return to starting position and repeat with your other leg. Using weights will help you develop power and balance (although the exercise can also be done without weights). Start with lighter dumbbells and move on to heavier dumbbells if that feels too easy.
Be sure to keep your back in a neutral position, but don’t flatten the curve of your lower back. You want your knee to stay behind your toes and centered over your foot.
10-15 reps of sumo squats with medicine ball/weights or weighted object
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly pointed. Hold a dumbbell, medicine ball, or weighted object with your hands in front of your hips.
Push your hips back and squat down, keeping your chest up and your knees apart. Bring the weight you are carrying to the ground between your legs. Then return to the starting position and repeat.