At Home Runners Strength Workout

This is one of my favorite strength workouts because it is tailored to the specific needs of a runner, walker, and athlete and includes exercises that target strength, balance, and mobility. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife because you don’t need any equipment, it can be done pretty much anywhere in 10 or 20 minutes, and the exercise sequence can be modified to keep it fresh and challenging. Plus, if you add a warmup and cool down, it becomes its own workout that can be performed on those days when you can’t get in a cardio workout.

How to do it:

Warm-up walking, running or doing any movement for 5 minutes to increase your body core temperature. You can also perform this workout after your cardio workout (run, walk, cycle…)

Newbies to Strength: If strength work is new for you, start out by performing each exercise from 1 to 10 for one set each exercise. Focus on learning the mechanics of the movement and allow your body time to learn and get stronger before you move to the following.

Regular Strength Training Folks: If you include strength training regularly, perform this workout in the following way.

  1. Use an interval timer on a watch, phone, or even a clock and set it up to repeat the interval at 75-second increments. You’ll have 60 seconds to perform the exercise and 15 seconds to position to the next.
  2. Follow the strength exercises back-to-back, performing each exercise for one minute, or as long as you can perform it with good form. If you need to take a break, take it. Then continue when you can to finish the minute out. You will get stronger and become able to finish the full set in time (a great goal to work towards). Repeat the entire circuit of exercises 1-2 times.
  3. The goal is to keep your heart rate up by moving from one exercise to the next while fatiguing target muscle groups. (Note: The 15 extra seconds allows for movement into the next exercise. If you find you need less time, you can shorten the interval time.)
  4. Perform this workout 1-2 times per week, or mix this is once per week to compliment your other strength workouts. Once this becomes easier, mix it up by starting with the last exercise first and going in reverse order.
  5. Hold that pattern for four weeks, then change the sequence to get in all the lower body exercises (squat, lunges…) consecutively, then the upper body moves, and finally the core work (planks, crunches).
  6. As you go, you can eventually mix up the routine during the week to include one of each sequence. It’s amazing how just a little change in the exercise order can make for a different challenge in the body.
  • Goblet Squat: Standing with your feet hip-width apart and holding a dumbbell or jug of milk(optional), sit back and lower down into squat position focusing on keeping your weight back over your heels. You can use a chair and tap your toosh on the seat (but don’t rest there 🙂 Press and extend your legs, focusing on pushing through your heels to activate your glutes. Lower and repeat slowly for 1 minute.
  • Push Up + Plank Hold: Start in a modified push-up position on your hands and knees (if you can perform full push-ups – go for it). Press up and extend the arms straight, hold for 5 seconds with a neutral body alignment (plank), and lower slowly back down. Repeat for 1 minute.
  • Lunges (60 seconds each leg): Stagger your feet front and back and separate to hip-width apart. Keeping your torso tall, bend the front knee 90-degrees until the thigh is parallel with the floor. Make sure the knee is over the ankle and not beyond the toes. Pause and push through your front heel to return to starting position and repeat for 1 minute. Perform one minute on one leg and then on the opposite side.
  • Plank (30 seconds): Lie face down with your forearms on the floor. Push up and hold the position so your elbows are under your shoulders and arms bent at 90 degrees. Hold your body in a straight line from your head to your feet and focus on tightening your glutes for 30 seconds.
  • Side Plank (30 seconds each side): Shift to your side on your elbow and feet, and hold the lateral plank for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Plank (30 seconds): See above.
  • Deadlift (60 seconds): Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart holding a light dumbbell, jug of milk or nothing at all. With your knees bent softly and torso tall, bend forward from the hips, focusing on keeping your core activated. Then squeeze through your glutes to straighten up.
  • Bridge: Lie on your back with your hands by your sides on the floor. Using your gluteal muscles (bum), squeeze and lift your hips off the floor until you make a line from your knees to your hips and shoulders. Pause for a few seconds and lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for 1 minute. For an extra challenge, keep your bum off the floor when you lower down.
  • Jack Knife Crunches: Lay on your back with your arms over your head and your legs bent with feet on the floor. Crunch and extend your legs slowly straight up towards the ceiling, and reach your hands towards your toes and slowly lower back down to starting position. Focus on keeping your core contracted and low back on the floor.
  • Fire Hydrants (60 seconds on each side): On your hands and knees, slowly raise your right bent leg up to the side, pause and hold for 2 seconds, then slowly release down. Perform this on one side for 1 minute and then repeat on the opposite side.