What Strength Training Is Best For Running: 7 Powerful Tips for Success!




What Strength Training Is Best For Running

Have you been running mile after mile but still feel like you’re stuck in a performance rut? You’re definitely not alone. After some thorough investigation, it turns out that the missing link could be strength training.

This blog is here to shine a light on top-notch strength-training exercises meant specifically to boost your running efficiency and speed, while also helping ward off injuries. Ready to level up and reach new heights? Let’s hit the ground running!

Key Takeaways

  • Strength training for runners is beneficial in preventing overuse injuries, improving running economy and efficiency, enhancing running form, increasing overall performance, boosting bone density, improving overall health, boosting metabolic rate and enhancing the mental game.
  • Incorporating bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges, as well as resistance training with weights or resistance bands, can help strengthen muscles used in running and improve stability.
  • Other effective strength training exercises for runners include single-arm standing cable row, single-leg deadlifts, single-arm standing cable chest press, Pallof press and step-up. These exercises target specific muscle groups while enhancing core stability.
  • The goal of strength training for runners is to build functional strength and prevent injuries rather than bulking up with big muscles.

Benefits of Strength Training for Runners

Strength training for runners has numerous benefits, such as preventing overuse injuries, improving running economy and efficiency, enhancing running form, increasing overall performance, boosting bone density, improving overall health, boosting metabolic rate and enhancing the mental game.

Prevents overuse injuries

Strength training is a key way to avoid getting hurt when you run. Our muscles take on a lot of stress as we pound the pavement. Strength workouts make them tougher and ready for more runs.

The research agrees with this idea too. One study found that runners did not get hurt as often after 12 weeks of strength work! Another big review said it might cut runner injuries in half.

So hit those weights or do bodyweight exercises if you want to keep running without pain!

Improves running economy and efficiency

Strength training helps in running. It makes your body work well. This is called improving the running economy. You will use less energy to run fast or long distances. Like a car that uses less gas for a trip, you also save energy.

This training also boosts your running efficiency. Your legs get stronger and can push off the ground better with each step you take. This means you can go faster without getting tired quickly!

Enhances running form

Strength training can make a big change in your running form. Better muscle coordination and power come with this type of workout. Your running technique gets better too. You’ll run more efficiently and use less energy on every step you take.

A good running style also means fewer injuries. Strength training gives all these benefits without making you bulk up. So, it’s clear that strength training helps runners in many ways!

Increases overall running performance

Strength training plays a crucial role in enhancing overall running performance. By incorporating strength exercises into your training routine, you can improve your endurance, reduce fatigue, and enhance your running economy.

This means that you’ll be able to run longer distances without feeling tired and improve your efficiency while running. Additionally, strength training helps to increase neuromuscular coordination and enhances anaerobic performance, allowing you to push harder during sprints or hill climbs.

So whether you’re training for a marathon or just looking to improve your running abilities, adding strength work to your routine can help take your performance to the next level.

Increases bone density

Strength training is not only great for improving your running performance, but it also has important benefits for your bone health. When you engage in weight-bearing exercises like strength training, you can actually increase your bone density.

This means that the bones in your body become stronger and less prone to injury or conditions like osteoporosis. Furthermore, studies have shown that strength training can help slow down bone loss and even promote building new bone.

So if you want to strengthen not just your muscles but also your bones, incorporating strength training into your running routine is definitely a smart move!

Improves overall health

Strength training is not only beneficial for improving running performance but also for enhancing overall health. When we engage in strength training exercises, we strengthen our muscles, joints, and bones, which can help prevent injuries and improve our overall mobility.

It also increases lean muscle mass, which boosts our resting metabolic rate and helps us burn more calories throughout the day. In addition to these physical benefits, strength training can have a positive impact on mental health by increasing self-confidence and reducing stress levels.

Incorporating regular strength training into your running routine not only improves your athletic performance but also contributes to your overall well-being.

Boosts metabolic rate

Strength training has the amazing benefit of boosting your metabolic rate. This means that by building lean muscle mass, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories even when you’re at rest.

Research shows that weight training can improve your body composition and increase resting metabolic rates. With strength training, you’ll not only enhance your running performance but also burn more calories overall, helping with weight loss or maintenance goals.

So get ready to elevate your calorie-burning potential and achieve those fitness goals with the power of strength training!

Enhances mental game

Strength training not only benefits my physical performance as a runner, but it also enhances my mental game. When I engage in strength training exercises, I am not just strengthening my body; I am also developing mental resilience and focus.

This connection between the mind and body is crucial for endurance sports like running. By challenging myself physically, I am building mental toughness and improving my ability to push through discomfort during races.

The cognitive training that comes with strength training helps me stay mentally sharp and prepared for any obstacles that may arise during my runs. Overall, incorporating strength training into my routine has been instrumental in enhancing both my physical and mental performance as a runner.

Deep Dive: What Strength Training is Best for Running

A runner performs bodyweight exercises in a park while being photographed in various poses and outfits.

When it comes to strength training for running, there are a few key factors to consider. One important aspect is muscle endurance, which helps you maintain good form and prevent fatigue during long runs.

Joint stability is also crucial for injury prevention. To improve speed and power, incorporating exercises that focus on neuromuscular coordination can be beneficial.

Bodyweight exercises are a great place to start when adding strength training to your running routine. They require no equipment and can be done anywhere. Exercises like squats, lunges, and step-ups help build leg strength and improve overall stability.

Resistance training using weights or resistance bands is another effective way to strengthen muscles used in running. Single-arm standing cable row, single-leg deadlifts, and single-arm standing cable chest press target specific muscle groups while enhancing core stability.

Remember, the goal of strength training for runners isn’t about bulking up with big muscles but rather improving performance by building functional strength and preventing injuries.

Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners

The best strength training exercises for runners include squats, lunges (reverse and walking), single-arm standing cable row, single-leg deadlift, single-arm standing cable chest press, Pallof press, and step-up.


Squats are one of the best strength training exercises for runners. They target important running-specific muscles like the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core muscles. By doing squats regularly, you can increase your strength and improve your overall running performance.

Research has shown that weight training exercises like squats can also help improve body composition and running economy. Additionally, squats can enhance muscle endurance, which is crucial for long-distance running.

By strengthening your muscles through squats, you can prevent injuries and improve stability while out on the road or trail.

Incorporating squats into your strength training routine is a great way to take your running to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, adding squats to your workouts will help build strength in all the right places and support better form during runs.

So grab a pair of dumbbells or use just your bodyweight – give those quads some love with a few sets of squats! Remember that proper form is key – focus on keeping your back straight, knees aligned with toes, and lowering yourself as if sitting back into a chair.

Lunges (reverse and walking)

Lunges, both reverse and walking, are excellent strength training exercises for runners. They target the muscles in the lower body, including the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

By replicating the running gait, lunges help improve your running form and efficiency. These exercises also focus on one leg at a time (unilateral movement), which is beneficial for runners as it can address imbalances and strengthen individual leg muscles.

Walking lunges are particularly effective because they engage not only the lower body but also the core muscles, improving stability and balance while running. So don’t forget to include lunges in your strength training routine to enhance your running performance!

Single-Arm Standing Cable Row

The single-arm standing cable row is a great exercise for runners like us. It’s a full-body workout that can be done using a cable machine or resistance bands. This exercise targets our back muscles and engages other important muscle groups such as the erector spinae, abdomen, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

By including the single-arm standing cable row in our strength training routine, we can strengthen the muscles needed for running and improve glute recruitment and strength. It’s an effective way to boost our overall running performance.

Single-Leg Deadlift

The single-leg deadlift is a great exercise for runners because it targets important muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and core. This exercise helps to improve balance and proprioception, which can be beneficial for running on uneven terrain or navigating obstacles.

It’s important to perform the single-leg deadlift with proper form to maximize its benefits and reduce the risk of injury. Variations of this exercise can also be incorporated into your routine to add variety and challenge your muscles in different ways.

For example, you can try the Romanian deadlift variation which specifically targets the hamstrings. So if you’re looking to strengthen your lower body and improve stability for running, give the single-leg deadlift a try!

Single-Arm Standing Cable Chest Press

The single-arm standing cable chest press is a fantastic exercise for runners. It targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, helping to improve upper body strength and stability. This exercise mimics the movements used during running and focuses on the muscles that connect your right arm with your left leg.

It can be done in a standing or seated position and engages major muscle groups like the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, and core. So if you’re looking to build strength in these areas to support your running performance, give the single-arm standing cable chest press a try!

Pallof Press

The Pallof press is a great exercise for runners because it targets the muscles responsible for trunk rotation. This exercise helps improve core stability and resistance to spinal flexion, extension, and rotation.

You can do the Pallof press using a cable machine, which allows you to adjust the resistance according to your strength level. By activating your glutes and providing a stable platform, the Pallof press helps enhance overall strength and stability, making it a popular choice among runners.


Step-ups are a fantastic strength exercise for runners like us. They’re unilateral, which means we focus on one leg at a time, and that’s really beneficial for our running. By doing step-ups regularly, we can improve our speed and power as athletes.

The great thing is that we can do step-ups at home or in the gym – it’s up to us! We just need a step or platform of varying heights depending on what muscle group we want to target.

So let’s give step-ups a try and see how they enhance our running performance!

Tips for Effective Strength Training for Runners

To effectively incorporate strength training into your running routine, work with a trainer and follow a guided workout. Focus on proper form and avoid relying on momentum, using challenging weights to see progress.

Vary your routine and make it enjoyable to stay motivated.

Work with a trainer

If you want to get the most out of your strength training for running, working with a trainer can be really helpful. They are certified experts who can guide you and create personalized workouts based on your fitness level and goals.

A trainer can teach you proper form for exercises, help you choose challenging weights, and keep you motivated throughout your workouts. They also understand how strength training should fit into your overall running schedule, so they can help make sure that it complements your running workouts and allows for proper rest and recovery.

By working with a trainer, you’ll have the support and guidance you need to improve your strength and endurance as a runner.

Follow a guided workout

When it comes to strength training for runners, following a guided workout can be really helpful. It provides structure and ensures that you’re doing exercises that are specifically designed to complement your running routine.

By following a program or working with a trainer, you can focus on the right exercises and proper form, which is important for preventing injuries and improving performance. Plus, having a plan in place takes away the guesswork and keeps you motivated to stick with your strength training routine.

So find a guided workout that suits your needs and goals as a runner, whether it’s an online program or working with a professional trainer.

Focus on proper form

Proper form is crucial when it comes to strength training for runners. By focusing on correct technique and optimal body alignment, you can train your muscles to withstand the demands of running.

Efficient movement patterns and improved neuromuscular control through proper form can also help recruit necessary muscle fibers for better running performance. Not only does maintaining good form in strength training help prevent injury, but it can also improve your running economy and efficiency.

So, remember to prioritize proper form in your strength training routine to reap the benefits for your overall muscle strength and running ability.

Avoid relying on momentum

When it comes to strength training for runners, one important thing to remember is to avoid relying on momentum. Excessive momentum during your exercises can actually diminish their effectiveness and prevent you from getting the most out of your workouts.

Instead, focus on using proper form and controlled movements throughout each exercise.

By avoiding reliance on momentum, you’ll be able to engage your muscles more effectively and activate the targeted areas. This means slow and controlled repetitions with both concentric and eccentric contractions.

The mind-muscle connection is also important here – by staying present in your movements, you can ensure that you’re activating the right muscles and maximizing the benefits of each exercise.

Additionally, avoiding momentum helps prevent injury by maintaining stability throughout the movement. It allows you to have better control over weights or resistance bands, reducing the risk of strain or accidents.

Use challenging weights

To get the best results from your strength training as a runner, it’s important to use challenging weights. Contrary to popular belief, lifting heavy weights can actually benefit runners.

Adding more resistance helps to build muscular strength and power, which can improve running economy and performance. It also helps to prevent overuse injuries by strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

So don’t be afraid to push yourself with those weights – it’s what will help you reach new heights in your running journey!

Vary your routine

To keep your strength training for running effective and engaging, it’s important to vary your routine. By changing exercises, weights, repetitions, and sets, you can prevent plateaus in your running performance.

Mixing things up not only helps you continue progressing but also prevents boredom and keeps you motivated. So don’t be afraid to alter your workouts, adapt new exercises, or revise the intensity.

By adding variety to your strength training routine, you’ll reap the benefits and improve your overall performance as a runner.

Make it enjoyable

To make your strength training sessions enjoyable, try incorporating activities that you love. You can listen to your favorite music or podcasts while working out, or even watch a TV show or movie.

Additionally, joining a group fitness class or finding a workout buddy can make the experience more fun and motivating. Remember, the key is to find ways to make it enjoyable for you, so that you’ll look forward to your strength training sessions and stay consistent in reaching your running goals!

Incorporating Strength Training into Your Running Routine

To effectively incorporate strength training into your running routine, it is important to find the right balance. This means determining the frequency of strength training sessions, timing them correctly in relation to your running workouts, prioritizing rest and recovery days, and creating a structured training plan that includes both strength and cardio exercises.

By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your performance and take your running game to the next level. Read on to learn more!

Frequency of strength training

To get the most out of your strength training for running, it’s important to find the right balance in terms of frequency. Experts recommend incorporating strength training into your running routine 1-2 times per week.

Combining 2-3 runs with 1-2 strength sessions can be an effective approach. This allows enough time for your muscles to recover and adapt, while still providing the benefits of regular strength training.

Aim for 2-3 strength sessions specifically targeting your legs each week to improve lean mass and overall performance. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to reaping the rewards of regular muscle strengthening exercises!

Timing of strength training workouts

To get the most out of your strength training workouts, it’s important to consider the timing. When incorporating strength training into your running routine, you should schedule your workouts strategically.

It’s possible to lift weights and run on the same day, but make sure to allow for proper recovery and rest between sessions. This will help prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of injuries.

Beginners can follow a structured schedule that gradually increases the intensity of both running and strength training over time, allowing for gradual fitness improvement and enhanced performance.

Importance of rest and recovery

Rest and recovery are crucial for runners like us. They allow our muscles to heal, repair, and grow stronger after exercise. When we run or do strength training, our muscles experience tiny tears that need time to mend.

Rest days give our bodies a chance to fully recover and focus on other areas that need attention, like building bone density and improving overall health. Taking time off from intense workouts also helps prevent injuries and keeps us performing at our best.

Without proper rest and recovery, we risk burnout and overtraining, which can hinder our progress. So let’s make sure we prioritize rest days in our training plan for optimal results!

Balancing with running workouts

When incorporating strength training into your running routine, it’s important to find a balance between the two. Strength training helps improve muscle growth, muscular endurance, and overall fitness performance.

However, you don’t want to overdo it and risk injury or hinder your running progress.

To achieve a balanced approach, consider the frequency of your strength training workouts. Aim for two to three sessions per week, allowing enough time for recovery in between. It’s also essential to time your strength workouts properly.

Avoid doing intense strength training on the same day as a hard run or race.

Rest and recovery are crucial elements of this balancing act. Give yourself at least one full rest day each week where you focus solely on recovery activities like stretching or a light walk.

Creating a structured training plan

In order to maximize the benefits of strength training for running, it is important to create a structured training plan. Here are some tips to help you create an effective plan:

  • Start by assessing your current fitness level and running goals. This will help you determine the amount of time and effort you should dedicate to strength training.
  • Set specific and realistic goals for both your running and strength training. This could include increasing your mileage, improving your pace, or targeting specific muscle groups.
  • Prioritize your workouts based on your goals. For example, if you are training for a race, you may want to focus on lower body exercises that target the muscles used in running.
  • Plan out your weekly schedule, making sure to include dedicated days for strength training. Aim for at least two to three days a week of strength training workouts.
  • Alternate between different types of workouts to keep things interesting and prevent plateaus. This could include incorporating resistance bands, free weights, or bodyweight exercises into your routine.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. This will help prevent injuries and ensure continued progress.
  • Don’t forget about rest and recovery days. Your body needs time to repair and rebuild after intense workouts.
  • Consider working with a trainer or coach who can help design a personalized plan tailored to your needs and abilities.

Conclusion on What Strength Training Is Best For Running

In conclusion, strength training is essential for runners of all levels to improve their performance and prevent injuries. By incorporating exercises like squats, lunges, and single-leg deadlifts into their routine, runners can strengthen their muscles and enhance their running form.

With the right guidance and a balanced training plan, runners can maximize the benefits of strength training and reach new heights in their running journey. So lace up those shoes, hit the gym or grab some weights at home, and get ready to take your running game to the next level!

FAQs on What Strength Training Is Best For Running

1. What is strength training for running?

Strength training for running involves exercises that target the muscles used in running, such as the legs, core, and upper body.

2. Why is strength training important for runners?

Strength training helps improve muscle strength, endurance, and power, which can enhance running performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and support proper form.

3. What are some examples of effective strength training exercises for runners?

Examples of effective strength training exercises for runners include squats, lunges, deadlifts, planks, push-ups, and hip bridges.

4. How often should I do strength training as a runner?

It is recommended to incorporate strength training into your running routine at least 2-3 times per week to see benefits. Aim for a balanced mix of exercises targeting different muscle groups.

5. Can I do strength training at home without any equipment?

Yes! Many effective strength-training exercises can be done at home without any equipment by using your body weight as resistance. Examples include squats, lunges,

planks and push-ups

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