Five Essential Strength Training Exercises For Runners

Tone the legs, strengthen the core, engage the whole body and get faster with these five moves.

We all know the distance runner’s body: lanky and lean. But lean doesn’t mean weak, in fact, the most effective running machines are powerhouses packed with solid muscle, because the stronger the runner the faster, more efficient and more injury resistant the runner becomes. And this doesn’t just hold true for the legs. “I really believe in training your whole body,” says Jenny Schatzle, a runner and personal trainer in Santa Barbara, Calif., “because running is a full-body activity.”

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Performing exercises that smartly strengthen your core and upper body are just as important as strengthening your principal running muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings. With a lean but strong physique, a runner can hold off muscle fatigue and maintain optimally efficient form longer. “Your body is a connective chain,” Schatzle says. “You can’t just work one muscle.”

Try these exercises two or three times a week and in no time you’ll be stronger, more efficient and less prone to injury. You just might cross your next finish line with a new PR.

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