5 brilliant strength exercises for runners
By Thor Schnetler
Thursday, 22. February

Strength training can make you a faster runner and reduce your risk of injury. Here are five exercises you can do at home – easily.

As runners, we often focus on training our legs and forget about the rest of our body. And that’s a shame. Even though it’s the legs that we use the most, a strong upper body improves your running style, improves your times and reduces the risk of injury.

In collaboration with PureGym, we’ve selected five full-body exercises that you can easily do at home on your living room floor a couple of times a week. Have a great workout.



Lunges are both effective and easy to do. The exercise works your front thighs, back thighs and glutes in particular, so with a single exercise you actually work out most of your lower body.


How to do it:

Stand up straight while tightening your abs and glutes.
Take a step forward and bend your knee until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your knee should not extend past the tips of your toes and your back knee should almost touch the ground.
Pause for a second and push yourself back to the starting position with your front foot.


If you want to increase the load, you can take a dumbbell in each hand, but wait until you master the technique.


3 x 20-25 lunges on each leg.


The plank is a great exercise that primarily tightens your abdominal muscles and the core muscles around your spine. This helps you to improve your posture in everyday life, and it also means that you won’t easily collapse your upper body when running.


How to do it:

Lie on the floor with your stomach down, resting only on your forearms and toes. Your upper arms should be at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
It’s important that your body is fully extended so that you don’t hang with your belly button to the floor or strut your butt like a pyramid.


Extend the exercise with the side plank, where you lie on your side while resting on your elbow. Keep your body fully extended so that your hips point towards the floor. Perform the exercise on both sides.


Lie for as long as you want, but remember that the first few minutes are the most effective. In other words, you won’t get twice as strong by lying down for twice as long.

Goblet squat

The squat is also known as the king exercise, and for good reason. The exercise trains the thighs, buttocks, core and, not least, the posterior thigh, which is a place where runners can hardly be strong enough.


Here’s how to do it:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest. Your toes should point slightly outwards.
Slowly bend your knees as if you’re going to sit down on a chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Remember to keep your back straight and your core tight.
Hold this position for a single second and then stretch your legs again to return to the starting position. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes when you bend your knees. You should also make sure your back is straight while performing the movement


Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions with a one-minute break between each set.

Push up

Push ups are one of the simplest and most rewarding ways to train your upper body. The exercise strengthens the chest, shoulder and triceps, and these are areas that are good to be strong in as a runner – just think about how many times you swing your arms during a run.


Here’s how to do it

Lie flat on your stomach with your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your elbows at your sides.
Slowly push yourself up while keeping your ankles, knees, hips and shoulders aligned.
Slowly lower yourself until your chest touches the floor.


3 x 10-12 repetitions.


Remember to keep your elbows at your sides. If it’s too hard, you can rest on your knees instead of your toes.

Hip thrust

The hip thrust primarily strengthens the muscles around the glutes and lower back, which is where many runners can get tired on longer runs. This exercise is best done on a weight bench, but you can also do it on a couch.


How to do it

Sit on the floor with your back against a bench or sofa.
Pull your feet up towards your buttocks so that your knees bend towards the ceiling. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
Hold a barbell, kettlebell or something heavy on your lower abdomen.
Push the weight up towards the ceiling while placing your upper back on the bench or sofa. Your back should be positioned so that your shoulder blades and upper back are in good contact with the ground.
Slowly lower your weight towards the floor by extending your hips towards the ground. You are almost in the bottom position when your knees start to follow the movement and your hips are close to the ground. Then slowly push your hips and weight back towards the ceiling until your hips are straight again.


Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions with a one-minute break between each set.


Make sure to keep your entire foot on the ground while performing the exercise; if your heels still lift, you can push your feet a little further forward.
Quantity: Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions with a one-minute break between each set. Increase the weight when it gets too easy.