Last Updated: March 13th, 2020

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20-minute bodyweight workouts for runners

Many people falsely believe that we runners only run all the time. Running is so much more than ‘just run’. You have to run, eat a proper diet and more importantly strength train.

However, when it comes to strength training somehow you and I get lazy and head out of the door to squeeze in another run. And then all the problems start.

You start getting injuries like ITBS, Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Back Pain and so on and so forth.

In short, no matter how tempting it is, you are not allowed to skip strength training. (I included ;))

Related: Is Resistance Training Required With Running?

So, today, I’ll provide you with a set of bodyweight workouts that I generally follow to squeeze in that strength training.

As you know most of my go-to bodyweight solution is yoga, today also I’ll do the same.

And what qualifies me to provide you with the routine?

Well, to be honest, I’m not a certified Yoga Instructor although I’ve got the plan of getting my certification this year.

I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 7 years now and yoga has been instrumental in my recovery from an accident I suffered 5 years ago.

So, I’m sharing whatever little knowledge I’ve here.

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog Pose

Image Curtsy: yogajournal.com

Benefits: Stretches Hamstrings, Calf muscles, Achilles Tendon and Foot Arches.

Strengthen shoulders and relaxes back muscles.

Steps:

  • Begin on all fours.
  • Your wrists should be under your shoulders.
  • Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Your fingers should be spread completely on the ground.
  • Tuck your toes and pull up your belly-button and gently straighten your knees.
  • Try to lower your heels on the ground completely. If you cannot don’t force yourself.
  • With each practice, you will get better.
  • Hold your pose for 30-sec to 1 min or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

2. Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Image Curtsy: yogajournal.com

Benefits: Strengthens your core, wrists and arm muscles. Strengthens your triceps.

Improves metabolism, reduces back pain, improves posture, improves sense of balance, relieves stress.

Steps:

  • From downward dog using your core push your upper body towards front.
  • Your entire body should be forming a straight line.
  • Your wrists should be under the elbow which in turn is under your shoulder.
  • To make this pose more effective, pull your belly button towards your spine. This will engage your core.
  • If you would like to take this pose one-step further, have a imperceptible bent at your elbow. In other words, only you should understand that there is no weight on the elbow.
  • For the first couple of days your body may shake severely in this pose. 
  • Don’t worry, its natural as it is trying its best to get used to the pose. With each practice, you will get better.
  • Hold your pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

3. Knee Chest Chin

Benefits: Increase flexibility and strength of the spine and neck. It helps strengthen the arms, shoulders, legs, abdomen, and back.

Steps:

  • Start in plank pose.
  • With exhalation lower your knees to the floor with your toes tucked.
  • Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Your fingers should be spread completely on the floor.
  • Bring your arms to the side and your elbow joint pointing towards your heels.
  • Bring your chest down to the floor with your hips lifted off the floor and palms flat.
  • Now gently bring your chin to the floor.
  • Hold your pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

4. Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

Image Curtsy: gaia.com

Benefits: Improves and strengthens your spine. Strengthens and opens your shoulder and chest.

Stretches and strengthens your entire front portion of the body.

Steps:

  • From knee-chest-chin push your body front and in one motion come up with a slight back bend.
  • Your toes are flat on the floor and you are supporting your entire body with your core and spine.
  • Keep your elbows bent so that you don’t put any weight on your arms.
  • See to it that your shoulders are relaxed and straight. Many time you will have the urge to squeeze and curl it up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

5. Upward Dog Pose

Upward Dog

Image Curtsy: doyouyoga.com

Benefits: Improves posture, strengthens arms, wrists and spine. 

Strengthens and firms your gluts. Opens up your chest, chest and shoulders.

Steps:

  • From cobra pose tuck your toes and push your upper body higher up.
  • None of the parts of your body should be touching the floor.
  • Your body is kind of hanging in between your arms.
  • See to it that your shoulders are relaxed and straight. Many time you will have the urge to squeeze and curl it up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

6. Pegion Pose

Benefits: Stretches and strenghtens hip flexors and opens up your hips. Strengthens and opens up all the muscles of your gluts.

Relaxes and strengthens your piriformis. 

Steps: 

  • From upward dog, push yourself back to downward dog.
  • Now lift your left leg as high as possible in the air.
  • In one swing motion bring it in front in and place your leg on the floor, like you are sitting on one of your buttocks.
  • The other leg is still stretched at the back.
  • Release your tucked toes and spread them on the ground. 
  • Your upper body is perpendicular to the ground and your palms are on side of the hips spread on the floors.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable for you.
  • Pushing on your palms, raise up your left leg as high as possible.
  • Bring it down on the floor so that your are again in downward dog pose.
  • Repeat the above steps with right leg.
  • Then move into the next pose.
Bodyweight workouts for runners is an excellent way to tone up and strengthen your joints. This 20 min intense workout plan will help you to become a better runner.

Bodyweight workouts for runners is an excellent way to tone up and strengthen your joints. This 20 min intense workout plan will help you to become a better runner.

7. Warrior 1

Benefits: Strengthens your legs, ankles, back, shoulders and arms.

Steps:

  • From downward dog, bring your left foot to the front so that it is in between your wrists.
  • Rotate your right foot so that it is pointing towards the front wall at an angle of around 90 degrees.
  • Push of your palms and lift your upper body so the it is perpendicular to the ground.
  • See to it that your hips are squared and pointing towards the front.
  • Now raise your arms straight up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is easier for you.
  • Fold your upper body again and rotate your right ankle to the front.
  • Bring your left leg back so that you are again in the downward dog position.
  • Repeat the above steps with right leg.

8. Warrior 2

Benefits: Strengthens your legs, hips, ankles, back, shoulders and arms.

Stretches your groins, shoulders and improves metabolism.

Steps:

  • From Warrior 1 now rotate your hips so that your upper body is in the same direction as the foot of your back leg.
  • Now stretch your arms on either side of the body and they should be at the same level as your shoulder.
  • Turn your head and look in the direction of the front hand.
  • Pull your belly button towards the spine and keep your core and buttocks engaged.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is easier for you.
  • Rotate your hips to the front and bring your palms to the floor.
  • Rotate the back foot to the front.
  • Bring your left leg back so that you are again in the downward dog position.
  • Repeat the above steps with the right leg.

9. Goddess Pose

Benefits: Strengthens your entire lower body including your legs, thighs, glutes, hips, calves, and ankles.

Steps:

  • Start in the Warrior 2 pose.
  • Now bend your back leg at the knees.
  • See to it that your feet are pointing outwards at almost 90 degrees.
  • Place both your palms on your hips.
  • Start lowering your body until both your thighs are almost parallel to the ground.
  • Now raise both the arms above your head.
  • If possible raise your heels so that you are on your toes while rest of the body remains in the same pose.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable for you.
Runners bodyweight workouts are the best form of strength training that is out there. Here is a short and intense bodyweight workout routine designed especially for runners.

Runners bodyweight workouts are the best form of strength training that is out there. Here is a short and intense bodyweight workout routine designed especially for runners.

10. Forward Fold Pose

Benefits: Stretches calves, hamstrings, and hips. It also stretches thighs and knees.

Steps:

  • From Goddess pose bring both the legs together in front.
  • Exhale and fold your upper part of the body.
  • Bring the palms as close as possible to the floor and try to touch it.
  • Initially, you may not be able to do it if you have stiffness in your back, hamstring or calf muscles.
  • Breath normally.
  • With each exhalation try to bring your palms closer to the ground.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is comfortable for you.
  • Then move onto the next pose.

11. Chair Pose

Benefits: Tones and strengthen your legs. Strengthen your hip flexors, ankles, calves and back. Helps to deal with issues related to flat foot.

Steps:

  • From forward fold, bend your knees.
  • You should still be able to see your toes.
  • Make your thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Now raise your upper body.
  • Stretch your arms above your head and they should be near your ears.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths, whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Straigthen your knees and stand up with your palms folded over your chest in namaste.
Repeat the above poses 5 times non-stop then relax for 10 mins in savasana.

Follow the below video, if you don’t know how to perform Savasana.

Conclusion

This 20-min bodyweight workout for runners will serve you immensely whether you are a beginner or an advanced runner.

Not only these poses will strengthen your body, but will also strengthen your mind and relax it.

Please don’t skip any of the poses. I know plank, chair and goddess poses are very tough to hold.

But with practice, you will get better at it.

Are you searching for intense bodyweight workout for runners? Here is a 20 min runners bodyweight workout that you get you sweating in no time. Also, it will build your strength and endurance.

Are you searching for intense bodyweight workout for runners? Here is a 20 min runners bodyweight workout that you get you sweating in no time. Also, it will build your strength and endurance.

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