This week I have started getting back into working out more and it’s made me so happy to get back into my routine. I was supposed to run yesterday but sleep won, which is OK.
I do have that half marathon this weekend, so we’ll see how it goes. It will definitely not be a PR setting time, that’s for sure. But hopefully it will be fun and a good morning for a long(er) run.
Anyways! One of the things that I’ve learned over the past year or two about running is the importance of working out beyond just running. Runners are terrible in that we just want to RUN. For years, that’s all I did. I forgot all the other exercises… the planks to give me the core strength to stay strong the last miles in a marathon, the hip stretches to keep my IT band happy no matter the distance.
So, today, I’m sharing my favorite at-home exercises for runners!
I love doing squats, and I love that there are so many varieties that you can do. I typically try to do air squats while I brush my teeth at night. That’s two minutes of squats built in, working your leg and butt muscles so you can feel the burn (right before you go to bed, even better right?).
Planks are the best exercises because you basically work all the muscles — some arms, abs and legs. I also like that you can do variations, like plank jacks (seriously, LOVE these) and side planks.
There are a number of different variations that you can do with lunges, but my favorite is the reverse lunge. These, you can even add weights or even hold some heavy objects from around the house (books? canned goods?) to make them a little bit more challenging.
These are amazing for building strength in your hips, which is so important for runners (mostly to give your legs the strength that they need to turn over quickly and to keep your IT band happy). These are super easy to do while you are watching TV, too! Added bonus.
I like how people say that push ups are just a harder version of a plank, and it’s true! All you do is a variation of the plank, only using your arms to lift yourself up and down again.
Having strong arms is SO important to a runner — so push ups, any variation, are great exercises for runners. you need arm strength to propel you when the rest of your body gets tired. If push ups are so last year for you, there are variations that you can do like the spiderman option above.
Another favorite at-home exercise for me, tricep dips! You can do these on the edge of your bath tub, on the edge of a chair or even on the edge of your bed. Do these until you feel the burn — it will make your arms so much happier and stronger.
Talk about a workout that makes your arms and shoulders burn! I feel like these look super easy, but once you start doing them, they are SO HARD. Do it, just give it a try, and tell me what you think. I promise they will challenge you more than you would ever think.
If you need to get some extra cardio action in (these are great to do on those days when you are supposed to have a rest from running but still want to get a work out in), high knees is how to do it. I like to use these when I do a HIIT workout instead of rest time. It amps the burn and really makes you sweat!
I’ll tell you a little secret. I love these exercises because they give you a workout and you can be a little lazy. You basically lay on your stomach and raise your legs and arms up and down in a controlled motion. Even so, you will STILL feel the burn. These are great at-home exercises for runners because they help to build your ab strength, which is always a great thing.
The exercise that everyone loves to hate… burpees! Remember when, once upon a time, I did the burpee challenge? I swear, these make you hate life when you are doing them, but after them you feel so amazing, which makes them so much fun to do. I also like that you can do different variations, depending on your fitness level (skip the push up or the jumps, for instance).
What are your favorite exercises that you can do at home?
Do you like to lift weights? How often do you do it?
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