These strength exercises for runners, recommended by Manor London head coach Ben John, will make you a more resilient runner…

According to coach Ben John, strength exercises are no less important to runners than running shoes or the best moisture-wicking underwear. “Strength training should always be included in a runner’s weekly routine,” he says. “The number-one goal for runners, whether they run competitively or for fun, is to remain injury-free. Strength training plays a big role in injury prevention by strengthening the muscles and connective tissue.

“Strength training also allows the body to produce more power per stride, which helps with running speed and efficiency. And it improves your balance, core strength and stability, which collectively help prevent wasted energy, and therefore boost running economy.”

The following exercises are in a simple workout format. The A/B/C exercises are to be completed as a giant set, with no rest between exercises.

All you need is a kettlebell and pair of dumbbells, but you could swap the kettlebell for a dumbbell if needed.

Strength exercises for runners

1. Kettlebell goblet squat

Reps: 5
Sets: 3
Rest: 45-60 secs

  • Hold the weight under your chin and rest on your chest.
  • Break from the hips and keep your knees outside your big toes throughout the movement.
  • Take 3 seconds in the eccentric phase of the squat, and one second to return to standing.
  • On the way up, think about pushing the floor away from you and squeeze your glutes.

5 Strength Exercises For Runners – Men's Fitness UK

2a. Dumbbell floor press

Reps: 8
Sets: 3
Rest: go straight into 2b

  • Find a stable position on the floor.
  • Control the movement on the eccentric phase (3 seconds down).
  • Try to explosively push the dumbbells up.

5 Strength Exercises For Runners – Men's Fitness UK

2b. Dumbbell bent-over row

Reps: 8
Sets: 3
Rest: go straight into 2c

  • Get a strong base and break from the hips.
  • Keep your back and chin in a neutral position.
  • Extend your arms, then pull the weights up by getting your elbows moving towards your hips.
  • Squeeze at the top of the pull, then return to extended with control.

5 Strength Exercises For Runners – Men's Fitness UK

2c. Dumbbell lunge

Reps: 8
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs, then return to 2a

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Create a strong base with feet hip-width apart in a split position.
  • Keep your front knee from rocking left and right, staying in line with the width of your feet.
  • Pulse your body up and down without moving forwards.

5 Strength Exercises For Runners – Men's Fitness UK

3. Kettlebell suitcase march

Reps: 12
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Hold a kettlebell in one hand.
  • March slowly on the spot.
  • Keep both sides of the body in line.
  • Fight to stay balanced and in a perfect position.
  • Do 12 reps on one side, then switch and repeat.

5 Strength Exercises For Runners – Men's Fitness UK

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