There’s a reason why every SoulCycle class is filled to capacity, and alternatively why the streets aren’t lined with runners at 6 a.m., each morning. Learning to love running, one of the simplest, most effective workouts of all time, takes patience and perseverance. Today we give you one of our best (and most doable!) workouts to begin running for weight loss.
Running For Weight Loss: Why Is Running So Hard At First?
We’ve all experienced that first attempt at a run.
Whether it was our first ever, or our first after 4 years off…it sucked.
So, why is that?
Unlike many other workouts, running challenges your aerobic abilities within seconds.
Learning to get past this initial panic takes focus on your form, your breathing and overall commitment to sticking with it.
And as many of us now know, once you get past this first point of struggle, the doors open and running becomes one big opportunity for joy, growth and peace.
So let’s take a look at a workout that’s guaranteed to get you on your way to liking running and losing weight!
Running For Weight Loss: The Squat Jump
This workout will consist of 3 different movements, only one of them being running.
The first is the squat jump.
Simply put, it’s an air squat with a little hop at the end.
Let’s break it down further:
- Start with your feet a little wider than hips’ width apart.
- Toes are pointed straight forward, or slightly out on the diagonal.
- From a tall position (butt squeezed), sit the hips back and bend the knees.
- Find the bottom of your squat.
- Knees should be tracking outside of the toes, and not too far forward over them!
- Core should be engaged and butt still squeezed.
- Now press the knees outward and stand up out of the squat.
- Try a couple more.
So far, so good?
To add the jump:
- This time, as you come out of the squat, you’ll continue into a small jump.
- Instead of just extending through the hips, you’ll go on to extend through the fronts of the ankles in a vertical jump.
- Arms will be in front of you at the bottom of the squat, and swing back behind your hips at the initiation of the jump.
- Try a few like this.
Running For Weight Loss: The Sprawl
Ok, so we’ve got the squat jump down.
Onto the sprawl.
The sprawl is essentially a simplified burpee.
Let’s take a look:
- Start by standing tall, feet hips’ width apart, butt squeezed.
- Sit the butt back to give your hips and knees room to bend and allow your hands to touch the ground.
- Heels will stay on the ground. ** You’ll be tempted to shift your weight to the toes, letting the heels come off.
- Try a few repetitions of just touching the hands to the ground and returning to standing.
- From here, once the hands are on the ground, step feet out one at a time to a straight arm plank position.
- Now step them back one at at time to meet your hands and stand up tall.
Let’s complete the movement:
- Now, from the straight arm plank, drop the hips to the ground.
- From there, snap the hips with a little jump to find the straight arm plank again.
- Try a few hip snaps from the ground back to the plank.
- Now that we’ve activated that hip snap, we’ll use it to quickly bring the feet in to our hands from the plank.
- The full movement will be hands down, jump out to plank, snap the hips to bring feet back to the hands, stand up tall and do a little hop at the top.
Running For Weight Loss: The Hill Repeat
The final part of this workout is going to be a simple 20 second run/jog up a hill (of your choice!).
Pick a hill to run up for 20 seconds at a time. Something that will get you breathing, but that will be “runnable” for multiple rounds.
Running For Weight Loss: The Workout!
Let’s put all this together!
Here’s how this workout will go:
- At the bottom of the hill you’ll do 1 squat jump.
- Now 1 sprawl.
- Now 1 20-second run up your hill.
- Now jog or walk easy back down to the bottom.
- Now you’ll do 2 squat jumps.
- 2 sprawls.
- Still just 1 20-second run up the hill.
- Jog back down.
- 3 squat jumps.
- 3 sprawls.
- 1 20-second run up the hill.
You can pick the level of challenge on this workout!
If you’re more on the beginner side of things, aim to start with 5 total rounds (getting up to 5 reps of the squat jump and sprawl).
As you get more comfortable and conditioned, consider upping to 7-8 rounds, and from there 10.
Even if most weeks you stick to 5, consider upping to 7 every few workouts, to add some aerobic challenge.
By breaking the running up into rounds, and mixing it up with other dynamic (and fun) movements, you’ll get used to how it feels and start to enjoy the long term effects.
You’ll be breathing smoother and losing weight in no time!
And before you know it, this workout will be too easy for you 😉
Thanks for sticking with us to the end. Because you did, you’ll get 2 FREE WEEKS of run, strength & mobility workouts, just like this one! Click here to get it 🙂