Many runners simply only run, and do not take into consideration any other form of exercise. Some runners will supplement their training with strengthening exercises but those who don’t, may not be aware of the benefits. From aiding with injury prevention, to making you stronger, faster and more efficient, strength training around running can be very useful.

Strength Exercises to improve Running

As opposed to your normal strength and gym workout which might consist of bench press and bicep curls, runners will require a different regime to the standard gym rat. Runners will need to focus on those exercises that can build strength in the muscles that help to keep them balanced throughout a run.

Our top 8 exercises are ones which can be implemented into an evening twice a week or before work, and after a few weeks of doing them, you will see vast improvements in your running.


With your body perpendicular to the ground, prop yourself up on your elbows and toes pointing down to the ground. Making sure to keep your abdominals tight, maintain this position for 45 seconds then rest. This will help to build your core.

Russian Twists

Flat on your back, lift your legs up with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle, without altering your knee bend, rotate your lower body and knees from left to right will maintaining a tight core and use your arms on the spread out on the floor to provide extra balance.


Starting from a pushup position on the floor, use a raised platform with your feet placed  on it. Raise your right knee toward your left shoulder as you rotate your hips up and to the left you are strengthening your core and legs.

Lower Back Extensions

This movement requires a medicine ball or if at the gym, a back extension machine. Laying face down on the medicine ball, with the ball at your pelvic region, anchor your feet to the ground and lower and raise your body bending from the hips.

Squats into overhead press

Either with a dumbbell or kettblebell, hold the weight with both hands in front of your chest. Standing with your feet hip width apart, push your hips back and lower into a squat position, on the way back up to a standing position, thrust the weight up and above your head.

Overhead Lunge

Either holding a pair of dumbbells or kettle bell straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked, step forward with one leg, and lower your body until your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle.


The best way to perform this movement is using a stability ball, starting out in a pushup position, rest the ball on your shins. Pull the stability ball forward to your body with your legs, raising your hips and lower back upwards, then return to the staring position.

Dumbell Row

Either with a pair of dumbbells or a straight barbell, hold the weight out in front of you, with your palms facing your thighs. Keeping your back arched over in a naturally position, bending at the hips, lowering your upper body over, pulls the dumbbells up towards your stomach and lower. Repeating this for a few repetitions will help provide strength to your upper back and lat muscles.