Why should runners strength train? PART II

Why should runners strength train? PART II

Again, this post was inspired by Chris Johnson, my GO-TO for all things running!

For more information about Chris and some of the amazing content he has to offer, visit his website at Chris Johnson PT.


In the last post, we covered some of the benefits of strength training and the specific importance of this practice for runners. In this second piece, I will cover some of the most important and effective exercises that a runner’s strength training routine should include.


Dynamic Warm Up


This is often neglected by runners because it is easy just to get out and run. We want to allow adequate perfusion of blood to the necessary tissues and prepare the nervous system for the run itself. There is also likely too much time spent on unnecessary stretching. This stretching has little to no effect on injury prevention or preparing for the run.


Here are two recommended exercises that can be included in a dynamic warm up:


Hugging knee to chest

Quad stretch with overhead reach


The March


It is important for a runner to demonstrate solid single leg balance. Marching provides training for single leg balance that simulates running. It also allows for training of shortened stride length which can help reduce the risk of running related injuries.


Here are two recommended marching exercises:


Baseline marching with or without weights

Prisoner March


Lateral Toe Tap


This exercise is important to train the glute muscles. The glutes play a large role at reducing running related injuries, as they are large contributors to the activity of running itself. This exercise directly targets those glutes, challenges single leg balance and simulates running as it is an upright activity.


Here are two recommended lateral toe tap exercises:

Lateral toe taps with band

Single leg stance hip abduction


Step up (7-8” step)


This exercise challenges single leg stance just like the demands of life. It is important to focus on control, coordination, and timing with this one. It is NOT an exercise that should be challenging on the muscles but more on balance, quality, and form.


Here are two recommended step up exercises:


Standard step up


Fluid step up


The Bridge


This exercises is one of the most basic yet it is very important. It is also performed without equipment. It works on glutes, hamstrings, calves, low back, and abdominals

It is great for preventing knee pain in runners.


Here are two recommended bridge exercises:


Standard bridge


Bridge march


The Plank


This is NOT just a core exercise. It challenges the lateral hip musculature which is very important for runners. It is recommended to not jump too quickly into unstable surface work as you want to master these first.


Here are two recommended plank exercises:


Standard plank arms bent with or without knee taps


Standard plank arms straight with or without knee taps


Calf Raise


Calves can not be overlooked in training for the lower body as they are the powerhouse for distance running. Calf exercises can create tissue resiliency and build capacity to tolerate the demands of the sport and resistance to injury.


Here are two recommended calf exercises:


Isometric double leg calf raise


Isometric single leg calf raise




The squat is the most fundamental strength training exercise that is involved in everyday life. It has the ability to create full body resistance to running-related injuries.


Here are two recommended squat exercises:


Air squat


Goblet Squat


Loaded Carry


Life demands that we carry stuff. So why not train it? Loaded carries play a primary role in working with runners of all ages and abilities as it is important to get acquainted with being tall and upright.


Here is a recommended carry exercise:


Farmers carry march




This exercise, along with the squat is one of the most important functional exercises that every human should perfect. It is also extremely important for injury prevention. The correct form is crucial and introductory exercises for this movement are important to perfect.


Here are a few deadlift exercises to introduce you to to the movement:


Hip hinge with PVC


KB Deadlift


WANT MORE?!?!?!?!?


Interested in live group training that covers this content?

We will be hosting a 3-part series workshop held on 3 consecutive Wednesday’s in January from 6:30-7:30pm

JANUARY 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

This workshop will be located at our brand new office on 1 Derby Street in Hingham. Space is limited so please sign up ASAP!

Email Loni through loni@infinitepotentialptw.com or call 617-249-4011 x 700 for ANY and all questions!

Sign up through this link– choose the 6:30pm class on January 9th. Follow the prompts to complete registration.



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