5 Strength & Conditioning Exercises For Runners | Simple S&C Exercises For Beginner Athletes


(upbeat instrumental music) – To get better at something,
you need to practise. The rate at which you improve is usually directly related to the
amount that you practise it. This, however, is only true to a certain extent when it comes to running. If you increase your
training too much in running, you are susceptible to injury. But there are other ways in which you can aid your running development, one of which is by including some strength and conditioning exercises. (electronic whirring) I’m going to be covering five exercises that will compliment
your running training, making you a more efficient
and resilient runner, and as a result, enable you
to run further and faster. And yes, I’m in a gym right now, but the best part of these exercises, you can do all of them in
the comfort of your own home. (upbeat instrumental music) The split squad, if you can find a mirror in which you can do it in front of so you can make sure
you’ve got correct form. So starting facing the mirror, you’re just gonna take a large
step forwards into a lunge, and then from here you’re
gonna drop your hips down, bending both your knees
until you’ve reached a position where you’ve got a right angle at your ankle and at your knee. If you’re not quite there then just adjust the distance of your squat. Once you’re here, make
sure your hips are level by checking in the mirror. Put your hands on your
hips just to be sure. And from here, you’re then going to
extend both of your knees and push your hips back
up towards the ceiling. And then repeat that by dropping back down until you reach your 90 degree angle. And then you’re going to repeat
that 10 times on each leg, so make sure that you go and swap over. But always reset,
concentrate on very good form and keeping those hips level. And another key point with this one, ensure that you push your
weight or you think of pushing your weight down
through your front heel as that will help engage
the correct muscles. You can progress this
exercise in several ways. The straightforward way
would be to add more reps or more sets to the
numbers that you’re doing, or you can take it another step further by adding a block to put
underneath your back foot as this will then make your
front leg work that much harder. And another option beyond
that is to add dumbbells. So you can put dumbbells
in both of your hands and increase the weight that way. This is another one
that’s about activation and control around the hip area. And if you can do it, in
front of the mirror as well. Start off by standing on one leg. Making sure you get your balance, pop your hands on your hips so you can make sure that your hips
are completely level. Once you’re there, you can take your hands
away for added balance. And from this position, you’re then going to
tip your torso forwards and your non-weight-bearing
leg is going to go back. So imagine that your other
hip that you’re standing on, the leg you’re standing on
is acting like a seesaw. So you pivot around that trying
to keep your body straight. So you go from here and
you tip to this direction. Your standing leg or
your weight-bearing leg have a slight bend in that knee just to help with the control. If you have tight
hamstrings you’ll find that you don’t have that much range, but it’s not about the
range in this exercise. It’s about keeping your
line from your shoulders through to your knee to your
ankle and through your hips. It’s completely as straight as you can, and keeping control at the hips. So once you get as far as
you can to that limit point, come back up to single leg standing. Check in the mirror that you’re level before you drop down again. And I want you to try
and do eight repetitions on each leg three times through. But the key with this exercise is about doing it well rather than quantity. So if you do struggle and
you can only do four well, I’d rather you did that than
trying to do eight badly. And you can progress
this by adding weight. So if you do have access to
a kettle bell or dumbbell, you need that in your right hand if you’re standing on your
left leg, or vice-versa. And then holding it by your side as you start to pivot forwards, you’re gonna drop your hand
down towards the ground. And this is just gonna add to the control factor of this exercise. But only get to this if you’ve already got very good control without the weight. (upbeat electronic music) This one is gonna get your glutes firing and they are the powerhouse
muscle for running. So you need to start by lying on your back with your feet on the ground and your knees bent, so
in crook lying position. And then before you even move, I want you to think about
squeezing your buttocks. And once you’ve got those engaged, lift your hips up towards the ceiling. And I want you to try to reach a level where you have a straight line between your knees, your
hips and your shoulders. Hold that there, and then lower gradually back down. So all the time thinking about
keeping very good control, and imagine you had a (murmuring)
or something on your hips and it’s going to stay level. It’s not gonna tip from
one side to the other. And then repeat that 12 times, the whole time squeezing your glutes. And once you’ve done that
12 reps, have a rest, and try and do the whole thing
through, three times over. If you find this really easy, there are quite a few progressions. The first one, if you
have access to a weight, you could add a big weight plate that you’d have on the
end of a bench press and hold that across your stomach. So it just adds extra weight, and it’s gonna make
your glutes work harder. But even more advanced progression, but actually one that doesn’t need any equipment is moving to single leg. Now, this requires a lot of control. You need to be very
careful you do it properly. So get into your initial
crook lying position and then you’re going to
take one foot off the ground and you’re going to do it, as
imagined, with just one leg. But this is really tricky
to control your hips and you really need to make sure that you keep them level the whole way through the movement,
trying to get full range, and repeat that as you
would with your two legs. A strong core is vital for running, and this exercise is
gonna affect all of those key muscles around your torso. So you need to start
by lying on your side. If you can do it facing a wall so you’ve got a good perspective when you go into the exercise to make sure you’re parallel to that, and you’re gonna have your forearm on the ground just in front of you and your legs are outstretched. And from here, your shoulders
will already be raised, and then you’re going to
imagine you’re pivoting from your feet, so lift your
hips towards the ceiling until there’s a straight
line going from your ankles through your hips to your top shoulder. You want to make sure that there’s no dip or also that your hips
aren’t coming too high. So again, do it front
of a mirror if you can. And the same goes with
keeping your body parallel. You don’t want to angle it too much. Once you’ve got the perfect position, I want you to hold that for 30 seconds. If you do find it too difficult, you can do a revised version
when you actually start with your knees bent,
so you’re just pivoting from your knees instead of your ankle. You’re making the lever shorter, and therefore, a bit easier. And then obviously make sure you do 30 seconds on the other side. Have a rest, and try and do both
sides four times through. There are so many different
progressions that you can do when it comes to plank or side plank. But we’re gonna do two
simple ones to start with, so first of all, doing
30 seconds on one side. And then instead of
having a rest in-between, go into front plank, and then straight onto the other side. And keep this continuous
for as long as you can manage to control good form. And the other option,
which is something I find really difficult still is
(murmuring) inside plank and then from there, lifting
your top leg and your top arm, and then dropping them back down and lifting again, all the time trying to maintain
that very good control. And again, repeat on the other side. (upbeat electronic music) The calf muscles and Achilles tendons take a lot of load when running, so making sure they’re
strong is essential. For this exercise you
just need to find a step and then something to hold onto. So just standing on the balls of your feet on the edge of the step,
lightly holding on to something. I want you just to drop your heels down towards the ground to as
far as is comfortable. And then from there, you’re purely gonna raise
up onto your tiptoes and then back down again
to complete one rep. And the aim is to do 12
of these, have a rest, and repeat it four times through. Now, there’s quite a few
ways to progress this. To start with, you can actually slow down the speed that you lower, because then eccentric
loading will help make your calves work even harder. Or you can progress this, like lots of the other
exercises, to single leg. And again, make sure you
increase this gradually. These exercises are a great starting point to aid your running. And you should aim to include them two to three times a week if you want to see a significant improvement. And if you are new to strength
and conditioning exercises and you have a go at these,
let me know how you get on in the comments section below. If you’ve enjoyed this, hit
the thumb up like button, and hit the globe to subscribe to make sure you get all
of our videos here at GTN. And if you want some more core exercises, we’ve got five core
exercise physio just here. And if you want a more detailed strength and conditioning programme, we’ve done a workout just here.

17 Replies to “5 Strength & Conditioning Exercises For Runners | Simple S&C Exercises For Beginner Athletes”

  1. Hey GTN, I've signed up for Ironman Canada, I'm a bit nervous for the bike because I don't have the time to go out and do 5 hour bike rides. Is there is a way I can improve my endurance in the gym? Would doing shorter rides at a higher intensity be beneficial?

  2. Good choice of exercises, I find it hard to get my runners to do S&C but I advise them strongly it's more important than their so called recovery run for injury prevention and long jeverdy as an athlete.

  3. Thanks for that Heather. Your firm was perfect giving me a clear guide to what I should be aiming for. I’m working on my hips and glutes to prevent injury as I’ve suffered several in the last year.
    Do you have any videos or tips to learn how not to favour one leg over the other because I think I use my stronger right leg much more than the left and that creates a strain and possible injury.

  4. exercises are great, but the rep range…. this could be on "how to get big legs"
    8-12 reps is for bodybuilders. (1-5 makes you stronger without getting BIG! and 15-20+ reps will ofc. not make you as strong, but atleast you dont get big bulcky legs….)

  5. Hi there, great video! I wish I had invested time in these exercises when I was training for my first marathon last year. I had no upper or lower body strength and suffered as a result. I've got marathon number two in 7 weeks time and I've been incorporating these exercises twice a week into my training schedule.
    Do you think I should increase this to three or is that too much?
    Thanks!

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