Yoga For Runners: 15 Essential Strength-Training Yoga Poses For Runners

Yoga For Runners: 15 Essential Strength-Training Yoga Poses For Runners

Yoga For Runners can be very valuable too for strength training. However, which poses to practice is the question. What I found is a long-time yogi is that the below set of exercises will help you the most. These strength-training yoga poses will improve your hip flexibility and mobility and will also improve your overall core and lower body strength.

Yoga For Runners

Why Yoga For Runners Is Beneficial?

Yoga strengthens all the muscles in your body. It balances the imbalances of muscles and can lengthen shortened tissues.

With all the pounding from running, many of your muscles will be regularly stressed and tightened. Yoga can release that stress and stretch these muscles.

Also, it is one of the cheapest forms of strength training that you can have. To get started, you only need a good yoga mat that is thick and durable. Also, nowadays you get yoga mats with alignment lines that are eco-friendly. Overall, your cost to get started with a strength training routine will hardly be around $30 which can be very convenient for most of us stuck at home.

3 Rules To Stick To

Rule #1: Listen To Your Body

Listen to your body. The flexibility and strength of each body are different. Also, one side of your body is stronger than the other. If you feel pain while doing certain poses, just stop at the point it starts hurting.

If you keep forcing your body, it will get injured severely. Yoga is a gentler form of exercise and one of its principles is ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence. And this principle extends to yours as well.

Moreover certain exercises like bow pose or other poses like pigeon pose, etc. the stretch can be so strong that it will tear the ligaments if you are not flexible enough.

However, if you keep improving little by little every day, your body will be so strong and supple that you will be able to endure almost anything.

Rule #2: Move With Breath

In yoga, breath is equivalent to ‘prana’ or life. All your yogic movements should be connected to your breath. In fact, to go deeper into a pose, you can use your breath to guide you.

For fun, you can try this experiment, go into a forward bend as much as possible you. Next, with every exhalation, go a bit deeper into the pose. You will be amazed at how much deeper you can go into that pose.

Also, this is an excellent tool to calm your mind, when you are feeling restless and cannot focus in your practice. Take a couple of deep breaths and you will sense the calmness in your body. In fact, you can try this tactic in almost any stressful scenario.

Rule #3: Performing Savasana Is Non Negotiable

Many people are under the belief that savasana is of no use. In reality, it is one of the trickiest and most difficult poses to perform.

However, if you perform 20 mins of savasana it is said that it is equivalent to almost 4 hours of sleep. Also, the amount of stress relief it provides is unparalleled. Also, it will keep you calm in most stressful situations.

Although I cannot prove it, it delays or almost nullifies the onset of DOMS. We used to have almost 20 mins of savasana after every 75 min of yoga practice. However, the next day, I couldn’t find much body pain and I’m talking about the days when I just started yoga. You can also try this and experience it for yourself.

15 Essential Strength-Training Yoga Poses For Runners

1. Surya Namaskar

How To Perform Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 poses that are done one after the other in continuous vinyasa. I’m describing it with brief descriptions along with a video that you can follow along.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Also called ‘Prayer Pose’. Stand straight on the floor with your feet together. Join your hands and place them near your chest. In the final position, your wrists will be almost at the same level as the elbow. Take a deep breath and with the inhale move to the next asana.

Hastottanasana (Raised Arm Pose)

Raise your arms above your head. The arms should be close to the ear. Also, there should be a backbend. Go as far as possible for you. Now with exhale move to the next asana.

Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

Fold from your hips and try to touch the floor. If it is too difficult, then your can hold your ankles. Now inhale and move into the next pose.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Extend your right leg back as far as possible. Fold the left knee and it should be as close to the chest as possible. Keep both the palms on the floor. Look up and your neck should be slightly bent backward. Now exhale and move to the next pose.

Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Both your legs are stretched behind you and you will bring your body parallel to the floor with your weight on your arms and feet. It will build muscle and tone your arms, legs, and wrists. Hold your breath and move to the next pose.

Ashtanga Namaskar (Knee Chest Chin Pose)

Bring your knees to the floor while your toes remain tucked in. Bring your chest down to the floor and then your chin. Inhale and move to the next pose.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Keep your elbows to the side of the body. Press on your palms and lift your chest and head off the ground while looking upwards. Exhale and move to the next pose.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)

Lift your hips towards the ceiling while keeping your palms and feet on the ground. Your back will remain straight and your hands should remain close to your ears. Also, your elbows shouldn’t be pointing back, rather they should point to the side. Now inhale and move to the next pose.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Repeat this pose with left leg. Exhale and move to the next pose.

Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

Both palms touching the feet or holding the ankle. Inhale and move to the next pose.

Hastottanasana (Raised Arm Pose)

Raise your arms with a slight back bend. Exhale and come to the next pose.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Relax for a breath or two and repeat the 12 poses again for 5-10 times.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens Whole Body – Strengthens legs, ankles, and feet. Improves hip and spine flexibility and also develops core strength. All of these are very beneficial for runners.
  • Teaches motion-breath synchronicity – You move with inhaling and exhale. This helps your body’s coordination with breath inhalation and exhalation which is beneficial when you try to implement rhythmic breathing while running.
  • Improves focus – Since you will be moving with breath, you need to focus on breath to get it right. This improves your focus and concentration.
  • Weight Loss – If you do Surya Namaskar at a fast pace, it elevates your heart rate quickly (speaking from experience as a yoga student) and also simultaneously stretches your abdominal muscles. This will help you to lose weight. Some of the yoga practitioners perform 108 Surya Namaskar every day.
  • Improves lung capacity – Surya Namaskar is meant to be done with deep breaths, or diaphragm breaths. Here will you will expand your belly to take breaths. This gives the lung more space to expand and effectively improves lung capacity.

2. Padahastasana (Hand-to-feet Pose)

Steps:

  • Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  • Inhale and raise your arms above your head.
  • Exhale and bend from hips till your hands touch the floor.
  • Inhale, lift both the forefoot with heels still touching the ground.
  • Place both the palms under your forefeet and place your forefeet on them.
  • Try to go as deep as possible into the pose.
  • Hold for 10 counts.
  • Inhale and come up.
  • Exhale and lower your hands to the sides of the body.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Effective against osteoporosis
  • Stimulates liver and kidneys
  • Improves digestions
  • Strengthens thighs and ankles
  • Stretches and strengthens hamstring, calves, and back muscles
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Relieves stress and tension.

3. Downward Dog To Upward Dog Movement

Steps

  • Start in a downward dog position as you have done it in the Suryanamaskar above.
  • Inhale and drop your hips while lifting your chest upwards.
  • Keep the toes tucked in. You should have a nice arc at your back.
  • Exhale and lift the hips up and drop your chest between your arms.

Benefits

  • Improved core, glute, and hip strength.
  • Improved hip flexibility.
  • Stretch in calf, ankles, and hamstrings.
  • Improved shoulder strength.

4. Warrior I, II and III

We will start this sequence in Warrior I pose and will move onto Warrior II and then Warrior III. Warrior III is very challenging and if you cannot move into that pose, you can temporarily skip that.

Once you get proficient with Warrior I and II, you can work on Warrior III.

Steps

  • Start with your left leg at the back and your left feet at almost 90 degrees to the ankle. You are using your back feet as an anchor so that you can maintain balance in this entire sequence.
  • Your right leg is at the front and bent 90 degrees at the knees.
  • Square your hips to the front.
  • Now inhale and raise your arms above your head. Hold Warrior I pose for 10 breaths.
  • Exhale and lower your hands straight to the shoulder level and perpendicular to either side of the body.
  • Now twist your hips, so that your right hand is pointing at the front and the left hand pointing to the back.
  • You should turn your head to the right to gaze over your right fingertips. Hold the Warrior II pose for 10 breaths.
  • Raise your hand above the head and square your hips to the front.
  • Now keeping your front knee slightly bent, start bending down till your body is parallel to the floor and your arms pointing at the front.
  • Now let go of your back leg and gradually raise it to your body’s level. Hold the pose for 10 breaths and come back to warrior I and then to Samasthiti.

Benefits

  • Strengthens ankles and legs.
  • Strengthens shoulders and back muscles.
  • Tones the abdomen.
  • Improves balance and focus.

5. Chair Pose

Steps

  • Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Inhale and lift your arms above your head. Keep your shoulders down and your spine neutral.
  • Exhale and start bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your upper body is at an angle of around 30 to 45 degrees with your thighs.
  • Also, be mindful that your knees should not cross your toes, in other words, you should be able to see your toes if you gaze down when in the final pose.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 min.

Benefits

  • Strengthens your knees, and legs.
  • Strengthens your back.
  • Strengthens your shoulders.

6. High Lunge

Steps

  • Raise your arms overhead.
  • Push down the ribs slightly.
  • Your back neck should be in a straight line or slightly curved back.
  • You can gaze at your fingertips.
  • Bring your left leg to the front with both feet pointing forward.
  • Now bend your front knee and make a 90-degree ankle.
  • Hold the pose for 10 counts.

Benefits

  • Opens groin and hips.
  • Strengthens your legs, knees, and ankles.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Increase stamina and lung capacity.
  • Stretches chest and spine.

7. Plank (high and low)

Steps

  • From the downward dog pose using your hip, drive your entire body forward, so that it is in a straight line.
  • Hold it for 10 secs then bend both your hands at the elbow so that your fingertips are pointing in front.
  • Your body is still in a straight line like it was in a high plank. Hold it for 10 secs and go back to high plank.

Benefits

  • Strengths your core.
  • Strengthens and tightens your glutes.
  • Improves your posture and alignment.
  • Keeps your bones properly aligned.
  • Develops strength in your whole body.

8. Dolphin To Plank

Steps

  • Start in a dolphin pose. This pose is much like a downward dog pose however, your palms are clasped together and your forearms are on the floor. Your upper body is supported by the upper arm, elbows, and most importantly, your core.
  • Now tighten your core and with exhale drive your body forward to a low plank.
  • Inhale and go back to the dolphin.
  • Keep doing this until you feel totally exhausted…

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your core.
  • Strengthens and tightens your glutes.
  • Strengthens your shoulders.
  • Effective for raising your heartbeat in a short time.
  • Improves strength of your whole body.

9. Four-limbed staff pose

Steps

  • Start in a downward dog pose and move into a plank. Tighten your entire body.
  • With exhalation slowly lower your entire body down so that it becomes parallel to the floor.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds and go back to the full plank pose.
  • Repeat for 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Strengths your arms and wrists.
  • Improve core strength.
  • Improves awareness of your body.

10. Cobra

Steps

  • Lie flat on your abdomen with the tops of the feet touching the floor.
  • Place your palms at the side of your shoulders.
  • Keep the elbows close to your body.
  • Inhale and start raising your chest off the floor and as high as possible. Your body from the hip should remain on the floor throughout the duration.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Exhale and release back to the floor.
  • Do this 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Strengthens your spine.
  • Stretches your entire frontal body.
  • Firms up glutes.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.

11. Bow Pose

Steps

  • Lie flat on the floor.
  • Bend your legs from your knees.
  • Hold your ankles with your palms.
  • Inhale and raise your body as high as possible.
  • Exhale and return to starting position.
  • Do this 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Stretches your entire front body including your hip flexors.
  • Strengthens the back muscles.
  • Improves your posture.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.

12. Pigeon Pose

Steps

  • From all fours, bring your right knee forward and place it in between your wrists.
  • Now relax your back foot so that the entire leg is on the floor.
  • Straighten your upper body and sit up straight.
  • Now to deepen the pose, fold forward till you reach the floor.
  • Stay for 5 breaths.
  • Exhale and raise your buttocks.
  • Take your front leg back and repeat the above steps with your left leg.
  • Do 3-5 rounds of each side.

Benefits

  • Improves hip mobility.
  • Maintains your hip level.
  • Calms your mind.
  • Excellent groin stretch.

13. Boat Pose

Steps

  • Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet on the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight, start leaning back until 45 degrees.
  • Now raise your foot straight up balancing your body on your buttocks.
  • You can keep your arms parallel to the floor or raise above your head.
  • Hold the position for 30-45 seconds.
  • Go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the pose 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Strengthens hip flexors and spine.
  • Strengthens your abdominal muscles.
  • Stimulates kidneys, prostate, thyroid, and intestines.
  • Improves digestion.

14. Garland Pose

Steps

  • Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Start sitting down into a squat position and keep your back straight.
  • Take both of your upper arms between your legs and fold your hands in a namaste position.
  • Now gradually push your knees outwards with your upper arm so that your elbows and forearms are almost parallel to the floor.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths and straighten your legs to come out of it.
  • Do this 3-5 times.

Benefits

  • Opens up hips and groin.
  • Stretches and strengthens the feet and the ankles.
  • Aids digestion.
  • Improves metabolism.
  • Keeps your pelvic and hip joints healthy.

15. Child’s Pose

Steps

  • Kneel on the floor with your toes together and knees hip-width apart or together.
  • Inhale and raise your arms as high as possible and push down your rib cage.
  • Exhale and lower your abdomen till you reach your knees. If knees are hip-width apart, lower it till the chest touches the floor.
  • The palms should be resting on the floor.
  • Rest in this pose as long as you want.

Benefits

  • Stretches your shoulders.
  • Relaxing pose.
  • Improves flexibility.

Ultimate Restorative Pose: Savasana

This is probably one of the most difficult asanas to master and its effectiveness is undervalued.

Steps

  • Lie down on your back on the floor.
  • Spread your arms and legs to a comfortable distance.
  • Close your eyes and tighten your whole body while fisting your hand.
  • Now just let go and relax.
  • Keep your eyes close for the entire pose duration.
  • Bring your consciousness to every part of your body and without moving it relax it.
  • Once you have relaxed all the part, turn to the right side, curl up, and pushing your body with the left hand, come up into a seated position.

Benefits

  • Clams central nervous system.
  • Aids digestion.
  • Calms the mind and reduces stress.
  • Reduce fatigue and headache.
  • Helps lower blood pressure.

What yoga poses you do as part of your routine?

What yoga poses you perform as a runner, let us know…

References

https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/g20853895/yoga-for-runners-0/

https://yogawithadriene.com/yoga-for-runners-physical-mental-stamina/


Author

Madhusree Basu - Bestplaygear

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.


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35 Health And Fitness Benefits Of Running A Mile A Day (2021)

35 Health And Fitness Benefits Of Running A Mile A Day (2021)

1-mile run or smile run…You are not running too long, not dropping dead at the end of the run, and you have the stamina to smile. And it is not that you are not benefitting from it. Now isn’t that a reason to smile!

Even a mile run can make a huge difference…

How?

Well for that read on to know the benefits of running a mile a day…

Running a mile a day benefits

35 Benefits of running a mile a day

1. Friendly for beginner

Oh! how much you want to run but don’t know how to start?

This is exactly what you need to try.

The 1-mile run is not a very long run.

And it is perfect to start for a beginner.

The goal is achievable and even if you run at a low to moderate intensity, you should be able to do it.

This is also the best for those who have their favorite excuse always ready “I do not have time”.

Running at a low pace of less than 4 mph, you should be able to complete it within 15 min.

Come on, you can do this.. so no excuses next time.

It doesn’t take much time and trust me it is going to do wonders if you run for just 4-5 days a week.

2. You Can Focus Running Form

Running form plays a vital role in building up running endurance and injury-free running.

When you run for longer distances, and if you do not concentrate, your running form can go for a toss.

1 mile is a small distance run.

Here you are not running to add on the mileage.

You can focus on the quality of the run.

Try to run the 1 mile with the aim to improve on your form, overcome the shortcomings. 

3.Minimize the chances of Running Injury

Frequently running long distances, over a period of time makes you more prone to running overuse injury.

The prime cause of these injuries is too much stress and inadequate recovery.

A 1-mile run will relatively put less stress on your feet than a 5k or 10k run.

And if you are just running a mile, you get enough time to recover.

running 2 miles a day

4. Weight loss

Running is the simplest, easiest, and inexpensive way to burn calories.

In fact, 50% of the people chose running for weight loss.

When you run your heart rate goes up, burns more calories which act as fuel.

When you are running at a moderate pace, you are working in the aerobic zone.

In the aerobic zone, the fat is burnt to supply energy for running.

So if weight-loss is your goal, next time chose low-medium intensity running. In fact, research shows that if you workout for 45 mins every day, it will give your metabolism a boost for more than 14 hours.

You can read more about how to lose weight by running in this resource.

5. Improves mood

Have you tried out the morning walk or going for a sport or just a Zumba class? Doesn’t it feel great after that – fresh and happy? The same is for running as research suggests. When you do any physical exercise, the endorphin is released in the brain. Endorphin is a natural drug that makes you happy, energetic, and relieves stress. It is also referred to as “Runner’s high”. 

6. Improves Heart Health

Your heart is the most important muscle of your body.

The faster you run, the heart rate climbs up, and the faster it works.

This makes the walls of the heart stronger. In a study, it was found that running even 5 to 10 mins a day and at a slow speed of <6miles/hour reduces death risk from all causes of cardiovascular diseases remarkably.

Secondly, running reduces the LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the HDL (good cholesterol) level.

Better heart health can minimize the chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and blood pressure.

7. Improves the Lung Capacity

The lungs’ capacity can be defined as the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use. When you are running, your muscles demand more oxygen. Now with a proper breathing technique, you should be able to inhale more oxygen. This improves the lung’s capacity overtime as a study shows.

8. Tones Muscles

When you are running, the hips, glutes, hamstring, quadriceps, and calves are in action. Running on a regular basis is a great workout for these muscles. The muscles are toned and strengthen. And if it is your dream to have those super s**y legs, this is what you can do. 

9. Better Bone Density

A recent study has proven that running regularly improves bone strength. The bone density is directly related to bone strength. An improvement in your bone strength leads to higher bone density. The decrease in bone density is the primary cause of fractures. With age, there is an onset of poor bone strength. It is best to start running as early as possible. 

10.Leads to better sleep

Are you suffering from a sleep disorder – insomnia, lack of quality sleep, or duration of sleep? Then, running a mile is the best remedy for it. Running relieves stress and anxiety, which is a common cause of sleep-related problems. It also helps in getting a sound sleep and for a longer duration.

11. Improves Metabolism

Metabolism is a natural process that breaks the food and drinks you consume into energy.

This energy is utilized by the body in doing a natural activity as well as any physical activity.

And this is what you refer to as the famous “calorie burn”.

Now running( and any other form of exercise) boosts up your natural metabolism, so the calorie burns faster.

Improved metabolism has several advantages:

  • More energy to work
  • Faster weight loss
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduce aging effect

12. Improves Stamina

Constant running even for a small distance adds to your stamina and you can build-up over time.

Let’s say when you initially started running, you may be running at a lesser pace may take around 15 -20 min to run a mile.

Now with time, your body builds up the stamina to run faster.

Maybe after a couple of months, you could improve the time by 4 min.

With practice, you may still improve.

Now, what is making you faster?

Of course your endurance!

There is no over-night change in your stamina.

But, definitely with consistency, your stamina will boost. A study finds that with regular training there will be a significant difference in your endurance.

13. Excellent Abs workout

Who doesn’t want the perfect sculpted Abs? Now, isn’t it a piece of good news that when you run, you are working on your abs too?? The right form of running requires you to stand tall and pull in your belly button. This way you keep your core engaged. This imparts more stamina to run as well as a great workout for your abs. Doesn’t that give you all the more motivation to run?

14. Light on the pocket

As compared to other sports, running is relatively light on the pocket.

Let’s say you want to lose weight.

There are options for hitting the gym to get the equipment.

And if you compare running with the cost of going to the gym, it is definitely a cheaper option.

Or just in case you plan to start with a new sport.

Be it any sport, it will cost you more than running.

All you need for running a mile is a pair of running shoes and a set of cheap and durable resistance bands for strength training.

15. Boosts confidence

When you run, there is an amazing feel-good factor post-run.

If your goal is a 1-mile run, you can easily accomplish it.

There is a complete change in your attitude.

You are happy, positive, and brimming up with confidence. 

Why?

According to research, any type of exercise like running creates new brain cells and calmer areas in the brain. This leads to a confidence boost.

16. Improves Life Expectancy

A recent study shows that running reduces premature death risk by almost 40%. Now, it is hard to predict life and death. However, you can try your best to increase your life expectancy. Some study also says that an hour of running adds 7 hours to your life. Running makes your heart strong and protects you from
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Blood pressure
  • Lower the risk of cancer
All the more reasons to enjoy running.

17. Maintains Blood Pressure

According to American Heart Association (ADA), if you get moderate exercises like running a mile or equivalent exercise minutes of up to 150 mins per week, your blood pressure will be maintained at all ages.

It doesn’t matter whether you run longer than a mile or shorter. If you can get the mins in, you will be in good shape.

If you get bored with running, you can also go for brisk walking, hiking, stair climbing, or rowing.

18. Controls Diabetes

If you are diabetic or is prediabetic, running can be a great form of exercise for you according to American Diabetes Association (ADA) as it increases your insulin sensitivity.

This is great as your body will function properly and get your blood sugar level to a normal as running a mile takes a lot of energy.

You can switch it up with brisk walking, or something similar. However, your energy expenditure should be similar, a study says. If you can do that, your diabetes will remain in control.

19. Improves Productivity

Moderate exercises like running a mile help in the proper functioning of the hippocampus region of the brain as per a study. Aerobic exercises such as running have shown to change the size of the area of the brain and this area is related to memory and learning. This way you will bring your best to your work and will show improved productivity.

20. Improved Immunity

Researchers have found that people who run for 15-20 min (equivalent to a mile) or exercise for a similar duration of time, three to five times a week are less susceptible to cold or other common ailments.

The study was conducted on a group of healthy volunteers. They were asked to keep a record of their coughs and sniffles over a period of 3 months.

Also, they were asked to record the physical activities that they were doing on a weekly basis. It was found that, if they engaged in exercises like running, their susceptibility to such diseases reduced by almost 50%.

21. Improves ability to deal with stress

A study published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory found that running can help you to deal with chronic stress and mitigate its negative effects on the hippocampus.

You will be able to experience the positive effects of running on your stress if you run 20 min or around 1 mile in a day.

22. Helps You To Retain Your Learning Abilities

Your memory formation and recall abilities strengthen when your synapses or connections between neurons are strengthened over time. This process is called long-term potentiation or LTP. If you deal with chronic stress over a period of time, these connections weaken. This will gradually impact your memory and learning abilities.

A study found that, if you run or exercise regularly for around 20 mins, these LTP connections are retained. So, you will not have to deal with the loss of learning abilities gradually.

23. Make You Creative

Can running a mile make you creative? It certainly can as a study shows. If you run regularly, there will be a significant creative boost according to the study.

They tested this on 63 individuals who run or perform any other aerobic exercises. The test was measured by the three measures of the Torrance Test and shows significant improvement of creativity level after you have exercised.

24. Improved decision-making capabilities

In an interview with RedBull, neuroscientist Ben Martynoga revealed that “There’s very clear evidence that running boosts your executive function – your ability to direct your attention to what you want to do, and to shut out distractions, and solve problems.”

If you need to make some hard decisions and are toiling with it, just go for a mile run, come back and tackle it.

25. Improved Adaptability To Difficult Situations

Running pushing you to get out of your comfort zone. When you run, your heart pounds, you are out of breath and feel like you might be dying. But then your body adapts, your mind adapts.

Running helps you to develop the mental toughness required to cope with difficult situations.

Also, if you stick to your running a mile plan for around 90 days, you will have to deal with almost all the regular life problems that are there, like waking up your kids on time, making breakfast for them. And you will do that while committing to your running plan. This way also, your overall adaptibility improves.

26. You Will Eat Better

Exercises and running attenuate unhealthy-eating habits in individuals as a study found. Also, it was also found that running will help you to tackle stress-induced eating disorders and will also reduce your chocolate and sugar consumption.

This way, you will naturally be more inclined towards, eating healthier. I’ve observed it in myself. When I take a break from running or exercise for that matter, my unhealthy food consumption increases. However, when I’m exercising regularly, I don’t feel the urge to consume them even if I see them in front of me.

27. Fight Daily Fatigue

If you engage in a low-intensity aerobic exercise like 1 mile running, you will be able to increase your energy levels by 20 percent and will decrease your fatigue level by 65 percent, a study says.

For this study, 36 individuals were selected who regularly complained about fatigue and did not run or exercise regularly.

They were divided into 3 groups…the first group did moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 20 mins, three times a week for six weeks, the second group engaged in a low-intensity aerobic exercise like running for the same period of time, and the third group maintained a sedentary lifestyle.

The first group and the second group showed an overall energy level improvement of 20 percent. However, the first group showed a fatigue level improvement by 49 percent whereas the second group showed an improvement in fatigue level by a whopping 65 percent.

28. Improves Male Fertility

In a recent study, it was found that running improves sperm count and improves the overall reproductive health of male runners which makes you a more attractive partner.

Running also improves your free testosterone levels which guarantees more time between the sheets.

29. Develop Healthy Attitude In Kids

Running can be a very effective tool to boost a kid’s self-esteem. In fact, there is a study on this that shows that running significantly increases self-esteem in children and young adults.

In addition, it can also help in correcting attitude issues in kids.

30. Keeps Cholesterol In Check

You can keep cholesterol in check if you run or other forms of exercise for 20 min every day as mentioned in WebMD. This will help you to increase your HDL or high-density cholesterol levels and decrease the low-density cholesterol levels.

If you have a completely sedentary lifestyle and have bad workout habits, then it will be the most beneficial to include a mile run in your routine.

You may be able to cut LDL by 15% and increase HDL by 20%.

31. Keeps Bad-Habits In Check

If you run for a couple of weeks, you will find that your cravings for addictive things like recreational drugs, smoking, or excessive drinking have gone down. You will be more inclined to eat healthy after running.

32. Protects And Boosts Cognitive Functions

When you run, it induces a lot of change to the structure of the brain increasing the gray matter as evidence suggests.

This will help you to retain and even boost your cognitive functions.

33. Reduces Depression

Running can be a very good tool for fighting chronic depression and anxiety. Another study found that running can be as good as an antidepressant.

Not only chronic depression, but running can also help you to beat short-term depressing feelings like Monday blues as another evidence suggests.

34. Lowers Risk Of Certain Types Of Cancer

Running will considerably reduce the risk of certain types of cancer like colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, or breast cancer.

It may also help with brain cancer as one study found.

35. You Will Become Inspiration For Other Couch Potatoes

You will inspire others to start running if you start sharing your daily routines and milestones. Since we as human beings are inherently competitive, you will be amazed to see that your friends have started to get out of their comfort zone.

However, they will have only one goal, to beat your starts. This will in turn keep you also motivated to stick to your routine and keep pushing your limits.

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

Read More…

10 Best Elliptical Workouts For Runners

10 Best Elliptical Workouts For Runners

Elliptical workouts are very effective for mimicking the running motion. It is also very beneficial for runners who are recovering from injury or working on let’s say their stride rate.

Also, it can be a very beneficial cross-training and a good break from their daily running. However, which one should you do? For answering this question here are the 10 best elliptical workouts for runners. They will improve your efficiency and will provide you a great workout experience.

Best Elliptical Workouts For Runners

Is elliptical training good for runners?

Yes, elliptical training is good for runners and there is a reason for the growing popularity of elliptical machines among runners. Much like running elliptical machines have similar physiological responses among runners.

In one study a trained group of runners was measured on their performance on the elliptical and the parameters like oxygen consumption, heart rate, fuel utilization, and energy expenditure are measured. However, there was no difference found between running and elliptical trainers.

Also, a similar study was performed on a group of female runners and over a period of 12 weeks. The results were almost the same.

How many miles on the elliptical is equal to running?

Any number of miles on the elliptical is equal to running provided you are aware of how to equate the two.

Here are some easy ways to draw parallels to your elliptical training and running. In elliptical machines you have strides. Each stride in an elliptical is measured from the forward-most position to the backward-most position. Also, the stride length varies from 14 to 22 inches.

So, if you want to equate one mile running to elliptical training, it will be somewhere in between 4526 and 2880.

Why?

A mile is around 63360 inches. Now divide 63360 by 14 and you get 4525.7 or 4526 (approx.). If you divide it by 22 you will get 2880.

Also, there are some machines that actually measure RPM. If that is the case with your machine, just divide these two numbers by 2 which will be 2263 rpm and 1440 rpm respectively.

Elliptical setting to mimic running

Use 90 rpm (max.) at a resistance level of 2-8.

On the surface-level, this may be perfect as this is equivalent to the golden 180 cadence number.

However, your cadence level will be different. So, before trying out this setting, it is better to measure your own stride rate and then gradually progress towards this golden number.

To do that, just set the elliptical at a comfortable resistance level and move the pedals as you will do when running. Do this for a min and the machine itself will let you know the number.

Once you have that baseline, you can focus on improving that number.

I have got a cadence of around 120 to 130 or 60 to 65 rpm and have a lot of room for improvement and I’m gradually working towards it. And this is what I love about the ellipticals. It will tell you right onto the face your weakness.

You may also try this to identify any potential weakness or just to reaffirm your great numbers.

Elliptical form

As with any type of exercise, form is the most important thing. It is true with elliptical trainers as well.

Also, if you have been running for some time, achieving the perfect elliptical form will be easier. To have a perfect elliptical form, follow the below guidelines:

  • Back straight.
  • Core engaged.
  • Don’t shrug or slouch your shoulders.
  • Stand nice and tall.
  • Hands should be extended to hold the elliptical handlebars.
  • Don’t put your weight on the handlebars like a cyclist.
  • Do use the handlebars to stabilize yourself. They are just for providing you with the pumping action of the hand and nothing else.

Precautions when using an elliptical

Elliptical machines are meant to stabilize you while providing you with a running-like workout. However, if you are not careful you may end up injuring yourself or your neighbors.

Here are some safety guidelines that you may follow while using an elliptical:

  • Start slow.
  • Use proper resistance for an optimal workout.
  • Train with your heart rate.
  • Don’t lean on the machine.
  • Be aware of the foot slipping on the pedals.
  • Hold the handlebars lightly.
  • If in a gym, spray sanitizer on the machine before hopping on.
  • Maintain proper form.

Can elliptical trainers really improve your running?

Yes, elliptical trainers can really improve your running. For starters, you will be able to work on your cadence and improve it till you hit that 90 rpm.

Also, if you focus on your form while working out on the elliptical, you will be strengthening your core muscles and will be able to improve your overall balance.

Moreover, you can increase the resistance at your will, thus providing yourself a way to strengthen the muscles that are used for running.

In other words, if you workout on elliptical, you will improve your running.

Can you use the elliptical for recovery runs?

You can use elliptical for recovery runs. However, since this will be a non-load-bearing session, go for double the time that you would run.

This is especially true if you are recovering from an injury or are very tired. This will be the perfect break from your running routine and you will be still able to include a session of active recovery.

Why?

Because using the elliptical trainer will improve the blood flow of your body and thus will help you to recover better.

How long should you use the elliptical?

You should use the elliptical for at least 5 min to at most an hour. The time that you will spend on the treadmill will depend on the purpose of the usage for that workout session.

For example, if you are just warming up for a run, a session of 5 to 20 mins will be sufficient. However, if you are planning for a strength training session, 15 to 60 mins will be required.

If the purpose is active recovery, then you will be using the machine for double the time you spend on active run days.

So, it all boils down to the purpose of the usage of the machine for that day.

Are 45 minutes on the elliptical a good workout?

Yes, 45 minutes on the elliptical is a good workout, provided you are effectively utilizing the time.

What do I mean by that?

For example, if you spend 45 mins on the elliptical but the effort you give is much below your capacity, then it will not be a fruitful session for you. Also, if you go above and beyond on that particular session, you will be opening yourself up for an injury.

So, you will be spending 45 mins struggling on the machine, only to go back home and tend your injury. That won’t be a good workout, isn’t it?

However, if you put in a good amount of effort but don’t overstretch yourself, then it will be a very good and balance-providing workout.

Are 3 miles on the elliptical the same as running 3 miles?

Yes, 3 miles on the elliptical is the same as running 3 miles out or on the treadmill, distance-wise. However, it is not the same impact-wise.

Running outside or on a treadmill is a high-intensity exercise, but ellipticals are designed to take away that impact and provide you with a non-impact workout session. So, your body will have a much easier time working on the elliptical.

10 Best Elliptical Workouts For Runners

1. 30 min Beginner’s Workout

  • 0-10 mins – Warm up at a resistance of 3.
  • 10-11 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 11-12 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 12-13 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 13-14 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 14-15 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 15-16 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 16-17 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 17-18 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 18-19 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 19-20 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 20-21 min – Push the pedals as fast as you can @ 7 resistance.
  • 21-22 min – Easy slow pedaling @ resistance 4.
  • 22-30 min – Cooldown @ 3 resistance.

2. 50 min Workout For Long Distance Runners

  • 0-10 mins – Warm up at a resistance of 3.
  • 10-20 mins – Pedal at easy pace @ a resistance level of 7.
  • 20-22 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 22-23 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 23-25 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 25-26 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 26-28 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 28-29 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 29-31 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 31-32 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 32-34 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 34-35 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 35-36 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 36-37 mins – Recovery @ resistance 5.
  • 37-39 mins – Pedal hard @ resistance of 8 or 9.
  • 39-50 mins – Cool down @ resistance 3.

3. 90 min Pyramid Workout

  • 10 mins warm-up @ resistance 3.
  • 1 min hard pedaling @ resistance 5.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 2 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 3 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 4 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 5 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 6 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 7 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 6 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 5 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 4 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 3 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 2 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 1 min hard pedaling @ resistance 7.
  • 2 min recovery @ resistance 3.
  • 5 min cooldown @ resistance 3.

4. 20 min Hill Or Ladder Workout

  • Start with a warm-up of 5 to 10 mins at a low resistance of your choice.
  • Increase the resistance by 1 count (like from 3 to 4) every min.
  • Keep doing this until you have reached your peak heart rate zone. Your fitness tracker will be able to tell that. Also, you won’t be able to keep going after a min.
  • Now keep lowering the intensity by one count every min.
  • Once you have reached your starting resistance, cool-down at your warm-up intensity for 5-10 min.

5. 30 min HIIT

We will set the elliptical to an initial setting of resistance or incline and will perform the below exercise at that setting. For ease of reference point, I’ll use 5 as resistance. You can use any setting you feel comfortable with. However, don’t too high on the resistance as you will not be able to sustain it for the entire duration of the training.

  • 5 min @ resistance 5.
  • 3 min, pedal as hard as possible @ resistance 5
  • 2 min, easy pedal or pedal backward @ resistance 5.
  • Repeat the above two steps until you hit the 25 min mark.
  • 5 min cooldown @ resistance 3.

6. 30 min Cha-Cha-Cha

Here you will set the resistance at a lower intensity and will increase it by 2 counts every 4 min. Also, you will pedal forward for two mins and pedal backward for 2 mins.

We have described the steps below starting with resistance 1. You can start at a convenient level of yours. Since this exercise will become very hard in the last phases, start with something that you are comfortable with. This way you will not have to abandon it in the middle or change course.

  • 1:00-5:00 warm-up @ resistance 1.
  • 5:00-7:00 pedal forwards @ resistance 3.
  • 7:00-9:00 pedal backwards @ resistance 3.
  • 9:00-11:00 pedal forwards @ resistance 5.
  • 11:00-13:00 pedal backwards @ resistance 5.
  • 13:00-15:00 pedal forwards @ resistance 7.
  • 15:00-17:00 pedal backwards @ resistance 7.
  • 17:00-19:00 pedal forwards @ resistance 9.
  • 19:00-21:00 pedal backwards @ resistance 9.
  • 21:00-23:00 pedal forwards @ resistance 11.
  • 23:00-25:00 pedal backwards @ resistance11.
  • 25:00-30:00 cool down @ resistance 1.

7. Easy Run Workout

This kind of workout is great for injured runners. You will have a good workout minus the high-impact of running. Here is what you should do.

  • 0:00-10:00 min warm up @ resistance 1.
  • 10:00-40:00 min run @ resistance 3-5. (choose a resistance with which you can stick for the entire timeframe).
  • 40:00-50:00 min cool down @ resistance 1.

Note: Your stride rate should be as close as possible to your actual running stride rate. Also, see to it that your HR or heart rate doesn’t exceed more than 65-75% of your maximum heart rate.

8. Tempo Run Workout

This run will mimic your tempo run effort. To make it a medium effort run you need to enter a heart zone of 87-92% of your maximum heart rate.

To do that, you will add incline or resistance to your workout. This will automatically increase your level of effort.

  • 0:00-5:00 min Warm-up @ resistance 3.
  • 5:00-10:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 10:00-13:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 13:00-18:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 18:00-21:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 21:00-26:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 26:00-29:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 29:00-34:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 34:00-37:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 37:00-42:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 42:00-45:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 45:00-50:00 min Pedal @ resistance 8-9.
  • 50:00-53:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 53:00-60:00 min cool down @ resistance 3.

9. 30 min Balance Run Workout

This is a workout that will actively develop your balance. Also, since you will run most of the time hands-free, you will be forced to rely on your core and will strengthen that. While doing the exercise, work with a stride rate that is comfortable to you.

Here is what you will do:

  • 0:00-3:00 min warm up @ resistance 3.
  • 3:00-5:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 5:00-10:00 min pedal @ resistance 5. hands-free.
  • 10:00-15:00 min pedal backward @ resistance 5, hands-free.
  • 15:00-20:00 min pedal @ resistance 5, hands-free.
  • 20:00-25:00 min pedal backward @ resistance 5, hands-free.
  • 25:00-30:00 min cooldown @ resistance 3.

10. 15 min Fat-burner Workout

This is primarily an incline workout and will help you to enter the fat burning zone quickly.

Here is what it looks like:

  • 0:00-1:00 min pedal @ resistance 3.
  • 1:00-2:00 min pedal @ resistance 5.
  • 2:00-3:00 min pedal @ resistance 7.
  • 3:00-4:00 min pedal @ resistance 9.
  • 4:00-5:00 min pedal @ resistance 10.
  • Lower back the resistance to 3 and repeat the steps 2 more times.

References

Honea, D. M. (2012). The impact of replacing run training with cross-training on performance of trained runners. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Boone, NC: Appalachian State University.

Joubert, Dustin, Gary Oden, and Brent Estes. “The Effects Of Ellipical Cross Training on VO2 max in Recently Trained Runners.” International Journal of Exercise Science 4.1 (2011): 2.

Porcari, John, Carl Foster, and Pat Schneider. “Exercise Response to.” Fitness Management (2000): 1.

Fitzgerald, Matt. Runner’s World Guide to Cross-Training. Rodale Books, 2004.

Garlatz, T. J., et al. “Physiological responses of elliptical and treadmill exercise in collegiate distance runners.” (2008): 1175-2.

Bosch, A. N., Flanagan, K. C., Eken, M. M., Withers, A., Burger, J., & Lamberts, R. P. (2021). Physiological and Metabolic Responses to Exercise on Treadmill, Elliptical Trainer, and Stepper: Practical Implications for Training. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism31(2), 135-142.

Chester, S., Zucker-Levin, A., Melcher, D.A., Peel, S.A., Bloomer, R.J. and Paquette, M.R., 2016. Lower limb kinematics and metabolic cost during elliptical exercises and treadmill running. Journal of applied biomechanics32(2), pp.113-119.


Madhusree Basu - Bestplaygear

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.


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The 10 Best Resistance Band Workouts For Runners

The 10 Best Resistance Band Workouts For Runners

Resistance bands are everywhere these days. They are affordable, they are portable and they can replace your whole gym. Quite literally…Almost all exercises that requires a gym equipment can be done with a resistance band.

But then again, can this be used by runners? Of course! yes…You can use these for all your strength training requirement and if you don’t know what to include in such a routine, here are the top resistance band workouts that I would recommend as a runner.

Best Resistance Band Workouts For Runners

Here is the list of resistance band workouts that runners can do as their strength training exercises:

  • Band March
  • Turtle Walk With Knees Bent
  • Side Leg Raise With Bent Knees
  • Straight Side Leg Raise
  • Alternate Leg Lifts With Plank
  • Hip Adduction On Side Plank
  • Angular Walk
  • Knee Rotation In Boat Pose
  • Clamshell
  • Wall Sit

Types Of Resistance Bands

There are many types of resistance bands. They can be differentiated based on their size or based on their usage. Below we have provided you with all the types that are available in the market today.

Normal Resistance Bands Or Loops – These are exactly what the name says. They are a rubber loop that is closed at both ends. They are generally around 2 meters long and can be used for almost all exercises. Also, if you want to do pull-ups and you are have never done it before, you can use these bands for doing assisted pullups. If you are selecting one for pull-ups, then go for these special pull-up bands.

Resistance Bands With Handles – These resistance bands more like rubber tubes. They vary in length and diameter. Generally the heavier the resistance, the shorter and wider the band. Also, they have handles attached to them so your skin will not get damaged while working out with them.

MinibandMinibands cute little flat rubber loops that are almost one-third of the size of the normal bands. However, they are very effective and you can even carry them in your pocket. They don’t have any handles attached to them though.

Fabric Bands – This is more like a double layer resistance bands. The outer layer has a fabric, however, inside you will have the latex band. They are of the size of miniband and generally have Velcro at their tips.

Figure 8 Bands – This is what the name suggests. It is a resistance band in the shape of eight. Also it has handles on both sides. However, these are shorter than the regular bands.

Sheet Bands – These are flat like sheets. They are much wide than normal resistance band and not a close loop. However, they are also made of latex and are available in various resistance.

Resistance Band Workouts

Band March

This is a very effective exercise to improve your glute, calves, quads and hamstring strength. Also, since you will be doing this with a resistance band, you will also be strengthening your core.

Start with a lighter strength band and increase the resistance as you start getting comfortable with the current one. For this one, you would need a mini band. You can use a longer band, but to make it loop around just your feet and keep it that way will take some creativity on your side.

Equipment: A miniband (start with the lightest one available with you)

Steps:

  • Loop the miniband around your feet.
  • Now stand with your feet hip-width apart. This will create some resistance for your band and also, will not let it fall off.
  • Lift your right leg until you have a 90 degree or less angle with your hips. This means your knee will be above the hip line.
  • Hold this for a couple of seconds.
  • Lower the right leg and repeat the steps with the left leg.

Turtle Walk With Knees Bent

This is a compound move and the effects will be similar to hip adduction exercise. However, since you will have your knees bent a bit and will be leaning forward a bit (around 30 degrees), you will be able to strengthen the whole of your lower body very effectively.

Equipment: One miniband (start with any resistance you are comfortable with)

Steps:

  • Wear the miniband around your legs just above the ankles.
  • Widen your legs to about hip-width or to a width where you feel a bit of resistance on the band.
  • Bend your knees a bit and lean forward a little. Keep your back straight.
  • Now start your sidewalk with very very small steps. You first move your left leg to the side a bit and then move your right leg a bit.
  • Take 10 such steps in both left and right directions.
  • Do this 3 times.

Side Leg Raise With Bent Knees

The main focus of this exercise is to strengthen your hip adductors. The movement is not explosive but is a controlled on. Since you are not depending on momentum, you will be able to see improvements very quickly.

Equipment: Single piece of miniband. Once you get comfortable or have used up the strength of the highest band, you can combine two or three bands together to amp up the resistance.

Steps:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Wear the resistance bands just above your knees.
  • Now bend your knees a bit and lean forward slightly (around 30 degrees).
  • Now lift your right leg sideways using the hip adductors. Keep your other glute muscles squeezed for added toning.
  • Hold the position for 10 counts and put your right leg down. Repeat with left leg.
  • Do this for 10 counts and for 3 sets.

Straight Side Leg Raise

This is essentially almost the same movement as above. However, you will be doing this with your legs and back straight.

Equipment: Same as above.

Steps

  • Wear the resistance band around your ankles.
  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. You should be feeling a bit of stretch in your resistance band.
  • Raise your right leg to the side and as high as possible for you.
  • Hold the position for 10 counts.
  • Lower your legs to the starting position.
  • Now repeat it with the other leg.
  • Do it 10 times with each leg for 3 sets.

Alternate Leg Lifts With Plank

This is another compound exercise that will strengthen not only your glutes and other parts of your legs, but will also help you to develop your core.

Equipment: One miniband around your ankles. If you want to reduce the resistance a bit, wear it a bit higher than your ankles.

Steps:

  • Wear the miniband of your choice around your ankles.
  • Go in low plank or elbow plank.
  • Now, raise one foot off the ground and raise the leg as high as possible.
  • Hold it for 5-10 counts and put it back to the ground.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this for 10 counts on each leg for a set of 3.

Note: Don’t try it in high plank as maintaining the form will become a challenge. If you want to up the game, use heavier resistance bands. Also, if you are feeling tired, you can relax in downward dog pose.

Hip Adduction On Side Plank

This is a solid exercise to improve for core strength and your hip strength.

Equipment: A miniband around your thighs just above the knees.

Steps:

  • Wear the miniband around your thighs above your knees.
  • Go into an elbow side plank on the right side. Means your right hand is on the floor.
  • Now bend the right leg behind from knees for additional stability.
  • Raise your left leg up as high as possible and hold for 5 counts.
  • Put it back down. Repeat it 10 times.
  • Do this with other legs and for 3 sets of 10 rounds each on either side.

Angular Walk

You will be taking big steps and at 45 degree angles. This exercise will help you to strengthen your glutes, and related muscles tremendously.

Equipment: A miniband around your ankles.

Steps:

  • Wear a miniband around your ankle.
  • Now take a big step in front at 45 degrees with your right leg.
  • Now do it with your left leg.
  • Note that, you are walking, not lunging.
  • Once you have taken 4 steps forward, take 4 steps backward.

Knee Rotation In Boat Pose

This will strengthen your abs, back and lower body. Also, it will improve your coordination.

Equipment: Miniband – 1 count

Steps:

  • Wear the miniband just above your knees.
  • Now go into a boat pose.
  • Bend your legs at the knees.
  • Put your elbows on the ground for added balance with your back straight.
  • Now move your knees from side to side and in opposite directions.

Clamshell

This may be one of the most effective workouts for your glutes and hip adductors.

Equipment: A miniband

Steps:

  • Wear the miniband around your thighs just above your knees.
  • Lie on the ground on one side.
  • Bend your arm at the elbow and put it under your head like a pillow.
  • The legs are bent in front of you at 45 degrees with your hips and knees stacked on top of each other.
  • Keeping the feet together, open up your top knee towards the ceiling. Hold for 10 counts and return back to the starting position.
  • Do let the other knee rise up.
  • Do this 20 times and 3 reps on both the sides.

Wall Sit

Will walk on your calves, quads, hamstring and core. Also, it will help you to strengthen your glutes a lot.

Steps:

  • Stand in front of the wall with your back on the wall touching it completely.
  • Your legs are in front of you and not in contact with the wall.
  • Now slide down gradually so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold the pose as long as possible.
  • Slide back up to a standing position.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Try to hold your pose for 5 mins each time. If you cannot try to start with 10 counts and keep increasing. Also, if you want to make it more effective do it as the last exercise of your last workout session.

FAQs

Are Resistance Bands Good For Runners?

Yes resistance bands are good for runners. It can strengthen your muscles and make your movements more efficient. This helps you to avoid injuries and also improve your performance. Also, you have total control over your training as you will be able to increase or decrease the resistance according to your needs.

Another benefit of using resistances bands are that, they are inexpensive and are very portable and you can exercise any muscle group in your body with these. You don’t need any heavy equipment and you need very less space.

How To Run Faster With Resistance Bands?

To run faster with resistance bands, you will have to include them in your speed and agility drills. This will improve the effectiveness of the workout and will help you to run faster.

You don’t need to do anything fancy for this, if you are currently doing a speed and agility routine, then just adding a miniband to each of the exercises will do the trick.

Also, if you are looking for a speed and agility drill for runners with resistance bands, here is a very effective set of exercises that you can start to do.

How Many Times A Week Should You Train With Resistance Bands?

You should go for 2 to 3 days of resistance band training. Resistance band training is a form of strength training and as with any other strength training, you should do it for a max of 3 days a week.

If you are not doing any other form of workout, you can do it for up to 5 days. However, the remaining two days will be your rest days and will help you to recover.

Training for seven days a week will be detrimental and you may get injured in the process.

How Long Does It Take To See Results Using Resistance Bands?

As with any other strength training program, you will be able to see results using resistance bands in 30 days or 4 weeks.

However, this may be a very gross generalization as the results that you are looking for may not be only related to workout.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you can lose weight with only resistance band exercises. However, if you overeat in most of the meals, you will not be able to lose weight.

However, if you want a visible change that your friends and family will be able to see, you would need at least 90 days or 12 weeks.

Related…

Hamilton, Ryan J., Carl D. Paton, and William G. Hopkins. “Effect of high-intensity resistance training on performance of competitive distance runners.” International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 1.1 (2006): 40-49.

Yamamoto, L. M., Lopez, R. M., Klau, J. F., Casa, D. J., Kraemer, W. J., & Maresh, C. M. (2008). The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: a systematic review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research22(6), 2036-2044.

Mikkola, Jussi, Ville Vesterinen, Ritva Taipale, Benoit Capostagno, Keijo Häkkinen, and Ari Nummela. “Effect of resistance training regimens on treadmill running and neuromuscular performance in recreational endurance runners.” Journal of sports sciences 29, no. 13 (2011): 1359-1371.

Jung, A.P., 2003. The impact of resistance training on distance running performance. Sports Medicine33(7), pp.539-552.

Blazevich, Anthony J., and David G. Jenkins. “Effect of the movement speed of resistance training exercises on sprint and strength performance in concurrently training elite junior sprinters.” Journal of Sports Sciences 20.12 (2002): 981-990.


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Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.


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How To Warm Up Before A Run?

How To Warm Up Before A Run?

Last Updated: March 10th, 2021

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. I may recieve a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.

Most beginner runners think that warm-up is not necessary. On the contrary, if you warm up properly before your run you will find that the running becomes much easier and you will be able to perform better. This is the reason that experienced runners don’t skip their warm-up routine.

However, things get tricky when you not the basics like how to warm up? How long you should be warming up or what exercises to avoid…So, in this article, we go through all these so that you have a solid understanding of what you need to do when it comes to warm-up.

So, without further ado…let’s start…

How To Warmup Before A Run-min

How To Warm Up Before A Run?

To warm-up before a run, you have to mimic the basic movement of running at a lower intensity and then do some dynamic stretches for each part of your body especially the lower body. However, the warm-up routine will be large dictated by the amount of time you will have available for running.

Below we have provided you with a warm-up routine that is suitable even for beginner runners.

Warm Up With Walk And Jog Routine

Walking is one of the best ways to start your warm-up routine. This is very much like running but at a much lower intensity.

However, when you are walking, you should focus on a speed that will help you to warm up, that is, get your heart rate up and get your blood pumping. For that, you cannot walk like you are strolling in the park. This will be very low intensity and will take too much of your time to get you warmed up.

Instead, what you can try is to do brisk walking which is somewhere at the speed of 3 – 3.5 mph.

If you are using a treadmill for your morning runs, then you can easily set the speed at this level and get going.

However, if you are running outside, then you can set-up an interval timer or you can use your fitness band for the same. You may have to take a peek at your fitness watch to maintain the speed.

If you are a beginner runner, you may find it a bit of a challenge initially…however, after a couple of sessions you will get used to the pace and your body will guide you.

You should keep up with this walking for around 3 to 5 mins then transition yourself to jogging. By this time you should be feeling a little bit of warmth in your body and feeling more awake. Blood has started flowing through your veins and you could feel the difference.

With jogging your body will align itself for the more rigorous running to come later in the session. The speed level that you should maintain should be around 5-6 mph. You should continue with your jogging for another 3-5 mins.

Your walking and jogging session should last for at least 10 min. Once you feel you have sufficiently warmed up, start with the following exercises. If not you can jog for a couple of mins more. It all depends on how you feel…some will need more warm-up time than others…

Also, if you are crunched on time, you may skip the below routine a day or two, but don’t get into the habit as this will cause you more harm…

How to warm up your knees before a run?

To warm up your knees before a run, squats and their variations are the best. Also, you can perform forward and backward lunges along with some in-place light jumping.

Knees are one of the most vulnerable joints for runners. Warming them up properly will save you from a lot of injury and runner’s knees. Also, to strengthen them further, include some glute strengthening exercises.

Follow this knee warm-up routine:

  • 10 forward and backward lunges.
  • 10 sumo squats.
  • 10 side-kick squats.
  • 10 side lunges.
  • 10 frog jumps.

Increase or decrease according to your fitness level. Also, if you are a beginner runner, start with lighter jumps. You can transition to frog jumps later.

How to warm up your calves before a run?

To warm up calves before a run you need to master some basic exercises like eccentric calf drops, plyometric jumps, and straight leg calf stretch. You can also do some forward bending that will stretch the calves and also your hamstrings.

If you don’t warm up your calves properly, you risk developing injuries like Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, etc.

Also, here is a basics calf warmup routine for runners:

  • 40 eccentric heel drops (10 rounds, set of 4)
  • 10 plyometric jumps
  • 40 straight leg calf stretch for each leg (10 round, set of 4)

Also, if you are still developing calf pains, check if your running shoes are not worn out. This is one of the biggest reasons for calf pain in runners.

How to warm up your ankles before a run?

To warm up your ankles do the following routine before running.

  • Ankle rotation (Clockwise and anti-clockwise)
  • Balancing on one leg.
  • Flexing and stretching your foot.

Ankle Rotation – You can sit down somewhere or can do it standing if you have sufficient balance. Just raise one foot off the ground and rotate it clockwise 10 times and anti-clockwise 10 times. Do it for 3 sets.

Balancing on one leg – Raise your left foot off the ground and try to balance on your right leg. If you have enough balance, combine it with ankle rotation. This way you will be done with two exercises at once. Repeat with the other leg.

Flexing and stretching your foot – Again get your left foot off the ground and flex your foot so that your toes are pointing towards the sky. Now flex the same foot downwards so that your toes are pointing towards the ground.

Do this 10 times for 3 rounds and for both the feet.

How to warm up feet before running?

Most of the exercises that we have covered for ankle warm-up will warm up your feet as well. However, apart from that, you can use the following exercises as your feet warm-up.

Standing plantar fasciitis stretch – For this, place the toes or end of your running shoes against a wall or curb, and start to lean forward until you start feeling a stretch under your foot. Keep going forward till you can bear it. Then lean back to release the stretch. Do this 10 times for 3 rounds for each foot.

Kneeling Toe Stretch – This exercise will help you improve your big toe’s flexibility and mobility. Sit back on your heels for 30 secs. Make sure that your toes remain tucked under and on the ground. Do this for 3 rounds.

How to warm up before a cold run?

To warm-up during winter, use more dynamic overall body movements for warm-ups. Here is the routine your should follow:

  • Neck rolls
  • Ear to shoulder
  • Hands over your shoulder stretch.
  • Hand over chest stretch.
  • Arm rotations.
  • Wrist rolls.
  • Wrist flex and stretch.
  • Hip circles.
  • Knee circles.
  • Ankle warm-up routine from above.
  • Toe warm-up routine from above.
  • Leg swings to front, back, and side.
  • Squats.
  • Twist.
  • Jumping jacks.
  • In-place butt kicks.
  • In-place high knees.
  • Front Lunges.
  • Side Lunges.
  • Squat jumps.
  • Back lunges.

These may seem a lot, but this will give you a nice warm-up if you perform them for 3-5 mins. Also, it is focused on your whole body, as during winter, your whole body tends to stiffen up and any part which is not loosened up may land you in trouble.

How should I warm up for a 1-mile run?

Warming up for a 1-mile run is no different than warming up for longer distances. The point of a warm-up is to be able to get your blood flowing. Follow the same routine from above to warm-up for a 1-mile run.

However, since this is a shorter run you may skip the jogging part. Just walk for 5 min and do the dynamic stretching to pump your blood…

Otherwise, you may follow this warmup routine also:

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How long should you warm-up before running?

You should warm-up for at least 5 min and at most 20 min on most of the days. However, the amount of time you spend depends on your body and the time available to you on that day. Also, if you are sore from the previous day’s training then you may need more time to warm up properly.

For me it is around 10 mins around most of the days however, for some runners in my group it is somewhere around 20 mins. It all depends on you and your body.

Also, there is one other factor that may dictate the time you need to warm-up for that day. It is the temperature of that day. If it is winter and really cold, you may find that you need more time to warm up than on a hot summer day.

This is also true if you run later in the day than run in the morning. For mornings you would need more warm-up as your body may be stiffer from the night before and need to be broken in first.

However, if you workout later in the day, you are already moving around and your body has already loosened up…So, you can reduce the time you workout, but don’t skip it altogether as this may not be good for your performance.

What stretches to do before a run?

You should do all the stretches that I’ve provided you above. However, if you are looking for a short dynamic workout, you can always do this one…

This is the one with which I got started and is great for beginners…

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What happens if you don’t warm up before running?

When you warm-up you gradually increase your heart rate and your lungs also get gradually warmed up for the intense exercise to come.

However, if you start running without going through a proper warm-up, you will be putting a lot of stress on both of these organs.

Also, you open yourself up for a lot of injuries like plantar fasciitis, pulled muscles, Achilles tendonitis, or twisted ankles. At the very least, you will not be able to reach the pace level that you wanted to or you may not be able to sustain the pace.

You will also see a noticeable dip in your energy and motivational level (for me at least).

So, warming up is not optional, it is mandatory for everyone who wants to have a wholesome run. It’s ok to skip a day or two here and there, but it is not ok if you make it a habit.

Does warming up make you run faster?

Yes, warming up makes you run faster. This is all related to muscle viscosity (or resistance). With warm-up, the temperature of your muscles rises and so does the blood flow to it. This reduces the overall resistance of the muscle.

Hence, its movements become more uninhibited and you perform better or as in this case, you run faster.

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

References

The 14 Squat Variations Every Runner Should Do For Better Performance

The 14 Squat Variations Every Runner Should Do For Better Performance

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. I may recieve a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.

Squats are the best friend for runners. This is probably one strength move that every runner should do irrespective of their level.

This is a foundational form, that will help any beginner runner to improve quickly and will make you run faster and longer.

Also, if you regularly perform this exercise, you will be able to improve in other aspects of running, like improving the strength of your legs, improve your knee stability, improve your body awareness, avoid injuries and also fix muscle imbalances if any…

Benefits Of Squats For Runners

If you are still not convinced that you should perform squats, here are some benefits that will change your mind.

Increased Strength

Strength training and running go hand in hand. If you are a runner and want to avoid injury, you should include strength training in your routine.

Being a complex form of exercise, the squat is one of the best ways to strengthen a lot of muscles together.

Together, squat works on your Achilles, Calves, Quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, glutes, and core. Not only the strength of muscles, but squats also increases your endurance.

Strong Core

A squat is a form of exercise, that targets your lower body. However, to hold the form correctly and avoid injuries, you will have to engage your core.

So, along with the muscles of your lower body, squat also gives you a stronger core.

Although the basic squat is a very good form of exercise, if you include other variations of the squat into your routine, you will have an even stronger and more activated core.

Improved Knee Stability

The stability of your knees is dependent on 4 major ligaments.

  • An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

However, the stability of your knees is also dependent on the muscles around your knees. So, if you improve the strength of these muscles, they will directly stabilize your knees. This is exactly what squats do. They strengthen the muscles around your knees and directly stabilizes your knees.

Prevents Injury

Many runners have to deal with IT band syndrome. However, if you can improve the strength of your hip abductors and your quads, this can be reduced significantly.

Also, doing regular squats may also help you to prevent osteoarthritis during your prolonged running career.

Improved Co-ordination

When you are doing squats, many parts of your body are essentially moving together. You cannot achieve a good form if all the parts are not working together.

This essentially improves your coordination and body awareness.

Improved Mobility

When you perform squats you are making your body go through a whole range of motions. The more you perform squats, the better your range of motion becomes.

In this way, squats improve your mobility a lot.

Strengthens legs

Squats focus on the lower part of your body and make the muscles like calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes to work support the form.

This effectively improves the strength of your legs and makes you a better runner.

What is the correct form of a Squat?

When you sink into a squat, this is essentially how you will look:

  • Arms should be straight in front. You can raise them above your head also.
  • Thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Knees behind the toes.
  • Straight back.
  • Neutral head position.

 

Squat exercises for runners

1. Basic Squat

This is the primary form of squat that you should master before you move onto any other form of squat.

Here is how you should perform it:

Steps

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart, toes facing front, hand by your side.
  • Raise your arms to your shoulder height with fingers pointing at the front.
  • Now start bending your knees as you go down gradually. Imagine you are trying to sit on a chair.
  • Keep your back completely straight.
  • Stop once your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for a couple of breaths.
  • Press on your feet and engaging your core gradually come back to your starting position.
  • Repeat this 5-10 times and for 3 sets.

 

2. Weighted Squats

Once you have mastered the basic squat technique start adding some weights to your squats.

The essential movement of this type of squat is the same as a basic squat, however, here you will be holding a barbell, dumbells, or a resistance band at your shoulder height.

If you are working out at home, probably dumbells or resistance bands will be a better choice due to their portability.

If you don’t want to spend again and again on dumbells as you keep getting used to the weight, you can purchase adjustable dumbells that are on sale. Otherwise, sending one time on a set of quality resistance bands can also be very budget-friendly.

Here is how you should do weighted squats…

Steps

  • Stand with legs hip-width apart and back straight with the hand holding the dumbells hanging comfortably on the side.
  • Fold your elbows so that the dumbells are at your shoulder height.
  • Now start bending your knees and begin to sit down. Keep your back straight.
  • Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a couple of breaths.
  • Now gradually come up by pressing on your heels and engaging your core.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and 3 sets.

3. Mini band squat

This is another form of squat that you can do with a mini band or a mini resistance band.

It is similar to the previous form of the squat but, here rather than raising the resistance band till your shoulder, you will be wearing it above your knees. This way, as you will have to hold the resistance band in place, you will have to engage your core more.

Also, for this one, you will have to use mini bands. However, this piece of equipment is probably one of the most inexpensive workout equipment and a set of 4 is available for less than $10 bucks.

Steps

  • Stand with legs hip-width apart and back straight with the hand hanging comfortably on the side.
  • Wear the mini bands above your knees such that, the bands don’t fall off.
  • Now start bending your knees and begin to sit down. Keep your back straight.
  • Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a couple of breaths.
  • Now gradually come up by pressing on your heels and engaging your core.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and 3 sets.

4. Wall Squats

This one of the most challenging forms of squats that you will come across. Here, your core will be engaged more.

If you perform this exercise after a set of conditioning workouts, it will be more effective as the rest of your body will be tired and will have to engage the required muscles for a perfect form. Also, in the conditioning classes for kickboxing, this is what our instructors used to do.

Steps

  • Stand with your back against the wall and your legs hip-width apart.
  • Now straighten your arms in front of you with your palm facing the floor.
  • Gradually slide down, till your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a couple of breaths.
  • Now gradually slide up by pressing on your heels and engaging your core.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and 3 sets.

5. Sumo Squats

This will build flexibility and strength in your inner thighs and also works on your gluteal adductor muscles.

The upper body stance is very similar to that of normal squats. However, for the lower body, the stance is much wider and the toes point outwards.

The result is a much intense squat and you will develop immense strength in your inner thigh muscles.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs much wider than your hips with toes pointing to the sides if possible. If not make this angle as much bigger as possible.
  • Now lean a bit forward, maybe around 30 degrees, and start going down.
  • Keep your back straight and go down as much as possible.
  • Once you have reached your limit, hold the pose for a couple of breaths and come up to the starting position.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and 3 sets.
  • You can make it more challenging by not leaving forward.

6. Tempo Sumo Squats

This is a bit more advanced than the sumo squat and involves using some form of weight. The weight can be a dumbbell or a resistance band.

Also, in this type of squat, there is are some counting involved and the movement should happen using counting.

For example, when you are going down, you can count till three or four, then hold the pose for 1 count and come back up using 1 count. In other words, you are using a tempo of 4-1-1.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs much wider than your hips with toes pointing to the sides if possible. If not make this angle as much bigger as possible.
  • Your hands should be dangling at the front holding the dumbbell or the resistance band.
  • Now lean a bit forward, maybe around 30 degrees, and start going down for a count of 4.
  • Keep your back straight and go down as much as possible.
  • Once you have reached your limit, hold the pose for 3 counts.
  • Come back with one count.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

7. Pulse Squats

This type of squat is a bit different than the other squats. However, the benefits are stronger core, stronger glutes, and improved coordination.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip width apart.
  • Start bending your knees and lowering your upper body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Now pulse 2 times means, very short up and down movement, just raising a bit and then again sitting down.
  • Keep your back straight and don’t lean forward or your knees shouldn’t roll towards each outher.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

8. Squat Jumps

This type of squat is a bit different than the other squats. However, the benefits are stronger core, stronger glutes, and improved coordination.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Start bending your knees and lowering your upper body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Now jump upwards and land straight on the feet. This is one rep. Make sure to land with your whole feet.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

9. Side-kick Squats

If you perform lateral kick with squats, your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings will get stronger. Also, it can work as an effective cardio warm-up. Here is how you should do it.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Start bending your knees and lowering your upper body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Now come back up and as you stand straight, lift your right leg to the side while keeping it straight.
  • Put your leg down and go down in a squat again and come back up and lift your left leg.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

10. Curtsy Squats

This variation of squats is great for strengthening your entire set of glute muscles. Also, it strengthens your calves, quadriceps and improves your coordination, balance, and body awareness.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Start by having your left foot in front and place your right foot diagonally back of your left foot.
  • The right knees will be almost at the back of your left knee.
  • Now start bending your knees until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Stand back up and repeat with your right leg in front of you.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

10. Bulgarian Split Squats

The Bulgarian Split Squats are more focused on your glutes and hamstrings. Also, since you have to balance yourself on one leg, your obliques are also activated.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart with a bench behind you.
  • Place the top of your foot on the bench in such a way that your ankle rests on it.
  • Your back should be straight.
  • Now start bending your knees until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Stand back up and repeat with your right leg in front of you.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

Once you are accustomed to the basic movement, consider adding some weights using a dumbbell.

11. Squat Box Jumps

The squat box jump is similar to the squat jump but your landing will be on a box, bench, a stepper. After a couple of these moves, your whole glute and core will feel it.

Prerequisite

You should be able to do squat jumps before you try this as this is a more advanced type of squat.

Precautions

  • Make sure your entire foot lands on the box and your heels or your toes are not dangling outside the box edge.
  • Start with a lower height like 6 inches and gradually progress to a higher height as you get comfortable.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width with your back straight.
  • Lower yourself into a squat.
  • Now do a controlled jump and lamp onto the box in front of you.
  • You can either jump back down or step back down.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

12. Frog Jumps

Frog jumps are a good way to take your squatting exercise to the next level as a runner. It not only works on similar groups of muscles as squats, but it also works on the entire calf, ankle joints, and every part of your feet.

Also, it develops a great amount of strength to your core and is great from cardio. Plus, it gets your body used to the high-impact movement that is regular to your running.

Prerequisite

You should be able to do sumo squats as the standing posture and the movement are more like a sumo squat rather than a basic squat.

Precautions

  • Make sure your entire foot lands on the floor and not your toes or heels. This will ensure that you can perform this exercise without getting injured.
  • You don’t have any injury in your knees.

Steps

  • Stand as you would for a sumo squat.
  • Lean a bit forward and go down until your fingers touch the floor.
  • Jump straight up as high as you can.
  • Land on the floor with your entire feet and go down in a squat. This is 1 rep.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

13. Figure Four Squats

Ah! another challenging form of squat. Do it right and you will have all the benefits of squats plus improved balance.

Precautions

  • Do it near a wall initially so that you can support yourself if you lose balance.
  • Also, placing a hand on the wall will help you to support yourself.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Place your left leg on your right leg in such a way that your left ankle should be on your right knee.
  • Now go down in a squat and pause when your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Pause for a couple of breaths and stand up.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

14. Pistol Squats

Pistol squats or the single-legged squat as they call it not only works on your lower body but also improves your stability, ankle mobility, and more.

However, this is a very challenging squat and you can start with a single-legged chair squat.

Steps

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Raise your left leg off the ground to about 30 degrees.
  • Keep the leg straight and keep it locked.
  • Now with the help of the right leg, gradually sit down in a squat.
  • Keep the left leg straight and in the air throughout the duration of the movement.
  • Now engage your core and press on the right feet and stand back up.
  • Do this for 5-10 rounds and for 3 sets.

References

Gains, Brains To, and Training Plans. “Are Squats Bad For Your Knees?.”

Nakagawa, Theresa H., et al. “Trunk, pelvis, hip, and knee kinematics, hip strength, and gluteal muscle activation during a single-leg squat in males and females with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome.” Journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy 42.6 (2012): 491-501.

Caterisano, A., et. al. (2002). The effect of back squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 16(3), 428-432.

Escamilla, R.F. (2001). Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 33, 127–141.

McBride, J.M., Blow, D., Kirby, T.J., Haines, T.L., Dayne, A.M., & Triplett, N.T. (2009). Relationship between maximal squat strength and five, ten, and forty yard sprint times. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(6), 1633-1636.

Molano, A. C. P., Jaramillo-Isaza, S., & Orjuela-Cañon, Á. D. (2019, October). Self-Organized Maps for the Analysis of the Biomechanical Response of the Knee Joint During Squat-Like Movements in Subjects Without Physical Conditioning. In Workshop on Engineering Applications (pp. 335-344). Springer, Cham.

Better Squatting for Better Running, by Nate Helming, Jan 22nd 2013. Competitor.

Squat Workout Challenges For Runners-min

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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