It’s one thing to be strong on two legs, but another to be strong on one, especially for marathon runners. But, how do you get it? We’re here to help! Read on for some leg workouts for running that’ll help you race longer and faster by improving your running form.
Broken down, running is simply putting one foot in front of the other. But as you put that foot down, what’s the other one doing? And how are you compensating for that weight shift? Leg workouts for runners are the key.
In this post, we take a closer look at the responsibility of the hips in keeping you stable and injury-free, for miles on end.
Developing control and strength on one leg leads to increased body awareness, improved running form, and ultimately increased endurance for that marathon distance! The best leg workouts for running focus on creating a balanced core and lower body throughout the running motion—not just in your standard two-feet on-the-ground activities.
The single-leg squat. We can’t lie to you…this isn’t going to be an easy one. But it’s going to WORK. FAST.
Make sure you continue sitting your hips back to create a hinge and space for the upper body to lean forward, over your standing thigh.
From the bottom of the lunge, you’ll press out of your standing glute and heel to return to standing on two legs.
But here’s where it gets a little complicated. That first lunge took you what, one second? From here, we’re going to slow down the process of getting to the lunge to almost four seconds.
You can slow the speed gradually, as you gain control over your standing leg.
Leaning forward with the upper body as you sit the hips further back will help counterbalance your weight, allowing you to move slow. Make sure your knee and toe come to the ground at the same time but DO NOT allow your kneecap to slam into the ground, for any reason.
Here’s the sequence:
From here, you can build this leg workout for runners up to five sets of five repetitions per leg.
This type of strength training for marathon runners helps fight the “hip sink” that occurs as you get tired.
We’ve all “deadlifted” something at least once in our lives…a barbell, a kettlebell, a sock we dropped on the floor. But today we’re going to look at what it means to deadlift using just one leg. Welcome to the deadlift for runners.
Let’s start this leg workout for runners by practicing a few regular deadlifts, using a kettlebell (18-35 lbs is just fine) or something of similar weight (milk jug will do the trick).
Now, let’s try it on one leg.
Again, what we’re trying to do here is practice stabilizing the hips and ankles for each leg of our run stride.
Make sure to find your balance on one leg with the weight, before starting the deadlift.
Perform the deadlift in the exact same way you did before, only this time making certain that the kettlebell is traveling right against your standing leg, and only reaching to right below the knee before standing back up.
Remember, keep your shoulders square to the ground!
Here are a few variations you can try to make this more challenging:
Once you’ve found a version that works for you, here’s your rep scheme:
Sinking into your hips creates unnecessary pressure on the ankles, knees & hips. After enough repetition with poor form, those injuries are no doubt going to creep up on you.
These best leg exercises for runners will teach your hips and ankles to stay stable and square through all of the weight transfer that occurs when you run.
So practice these movements 1-2 times per week for best results!
For sticking with us to the end, enjoy 2 full weeks of strength workouts just like this one. Each leg workout for running includes video coaching, a written description, as well as access to our coaches for any modifications or questions that come up along the way! Get your FREE program here.
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