Why: Running backwards helps strengthen the glutes and upper hamstrings, as well as various core muscles in the abs and lower back.
How: Although it will seem awkward at first, try to replicate your forward running motion while moving backward. You’ll still be pushing off of your forefoot and swinging you arms, but you’ll be lunging backward with your hamstrings and using core muscles to stabilize differently than you’re used to while moving forward. Focus on form, not on speed. Do two or four reps of 50 to 100 meters.
This piece first appeared in the May 2012 issue of Competitor magazine.