Dumbbell Workouts for Runners (Exercises + Tips)

Dumbbell workouts for runners give you a whole lot of bang for your buck. You can take dumbbells pretty much anywhere, and there versatility means you can have a “home gym” for little cost. These dumbbell exercises for runners will help you build your running-related strength to:

  • Boost your strength
  • Increase your endurance
  • Prevent injury
  • Improve your speed

Dumbbell Workouts for Runners

dumbbell workouts for runners

The manmaker is one of our favorite dumbbell movements.

…And don’t take the name lightly 🙂

This is essentially 5 movements combined into one, which as you can imagine gets the full body’s mechanics organized and the heart pumping.

Let’s break it down.

*But before that, go grab 2 dumbbells (medium weight: 15 lbs for women/20 lbs for men to start)! 

Manmaker Step #1: The Pushup

dumbbell exercises for runners

upper body dumbbell workout for runners

This is where the upper body dumbbell workout portion comes in.

  • Set the dumbbells on the ground, about shoulder width apart.
  • Set yourself up in a straight arm plank, hands gripped on top of the dumbbells.
  • Feet should be set to hips’ width apart.
  • Keeping the body in one line, shift your weight forward over the toes and drop to bottom of the pushup, keeping elbows squeezed into your sides.

Manmaker Step #2: The Row

strength training for running

  • Once you’ve done the pushup, you’ll return to your straight arm plank.
  • From here, use the right arm to pick up the dumbbell and drive the elbow back.
  • Engage your lats and squeeze the shoulder blades to lift the dumbbell.
  • Try your HARDEST to keep the hips square to the ground, though the right side will want to twist up.
  • Return the weight to the ground with control.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Manmaker Step #3: The Deadlift

dumbbell leg workout for runners

The deadlift is when you transition to a lower-body dumbbell workout.

  • After both rows, return to straight arm plank.
  • From here, either jump or step your feet in to your hands.
  • Now you’re going to sit your hips back and slightly bend your legs, pressing the knees out.
  • With a straight back and engaged core, use the hips to deadlift the two dumbbells off the ground to find a standing position.
  • Dumbbells should be hanging down by your sides.
  • From standing, simply thrust the hips and raise the elbows to catch the dumbbells at the front of your shoulders, arms bent up to create a shelf.

Manmaker Step #4: The Squat

strength training for running

  • From here you’ll find the bottom of your squat position.
  • Again, hips sit back, back stays straight, and knees press out (and not past the toes!)

Manmaker Step #5: The Overhead Press

strength training for running

  • So you’re sitting at the bottom of the squat, holding the dumbbells at your shoulders.
  • Now engage the glutes and core as tight as you can.
  • Press out of the bottom of the squat to standing, pushing the hips forward.
  • At the same time, drive the arms with the dumbbells straight overhead.
  • You’ll end in a standing position, dumbbells locked out overhead, fists facing each other.
  • Make sure you aren’t arching the back, or letting the ribs jut out in front of you.

Can you believe all of that equates to just 1 manmaker?!

Hey, we never said strength training for running was easy 🙂

Strength Training For Running: The Workout

This workout is going be broken into 3 sets, with 3 minutes rest scheduled after each one.

The workout:

  • 5 manmakers (pushup, 2 rows, deadlift, squat, overhead press) – @ an easy speed
  • One 400 meter run – @ an easy pace
  • 3 minutes rest
  • 5 manmakers @ a moderate speed
  • One 400 meter run – @ a moderate pace
  • 3 minutes rest
  • 5 manmakers @ the most intense speed you can control…push it!
  • One 400 meter run – @ the most intense pace you can hold…this is the end, so leave it all out there!

And that’s it!

The idea is to use the rest to build intensity as the sets go on.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself on this!

Why We Love Dumbbell Exercises for Runners

The manmaker is action-packed.

It requires a lot of your body, your core specifically, and your breathing.

Not to mention, it builds a solid arm swing for your running. 

By keeping the elbows squeezed in tight for the entire movement (especially under weight), you can train the arms to find strength in the most optimal arm swing position.

And even better, you immediately get to practice that arm swing on the 400 meter run!

We hope you love and benefit from this strength training for running as much as we have! Enjoy, runners!

strength training for running

And for sticking with us to the end, enjoy 2 WEEKS of FREE strength and mobility training. Dumbbell workouts for runners  (just like this one), created just for OUR RUNNERS! No gym required.

Get them here 🙂