10 Best Exercises For Runners

Runners usually aim for a strong muscular body. Running is very helpful of course, but it is a form of cardio. But, the strength training for runners is a bit different from the normal and usual gym exercises. And to build our muscles we should always opt for some strength training and exercises. 

This combination of strength training cardio and exercises will help us the best. The running will help us in losing unnecessary and these exercises for runners will help them build muscles. Another advantage of doing this strength training and these exercises along with running is that they strengthen our core muscles. These strength exercises makes us strong. 

The more your muscle mass is, the healthier you are. This means that everyone should do muscle building and strength training exercises for a great upper body. Preferably, these strength training exercises should be done twice per week with 10 to 12 reps each time. And runners should make sure to take a rest of 30 seconds in between each one rep of all these strength training exercises.

Running is a full body workout but other than that some of the best strength training exercises that runners can do are listed below with the information that how can they help in building the upper body and strength of runners.

10 Strength Exercises for Runners:




Planks are one of the best strength training exercises for runners. They target many of your body areas and hence help a lot in toning your upper body and increasing your strength. 

They strengthen our core, help you in running better and tone your overall body for good. While talking about overall body, doing a plank few minutes a day can help us work our abdominal and back muscles, they help toning our shoulders, glutes, chest and legs. 



They help us strengthen our core and also make us stable. They are great for runners as these both things are really important for them. Plank position help us to form a firm posture and get stronger. Running needs patience and endurance, so does planks. 

So a person who can plank better will definitely ace in running too. Runners can do the basic plank daily and increase the time daily and check for how long they can hold it. But there is also a variation of Plank which is named “Side Plank”. 

You can do Plank by laying face down with your hands on the floor with shoulder width apart. This strength training exercise is also treated as occasional cross training exercise to be carried out when you are not running. The number of reps should be 10 or 12 reps.



Squats are one of the most popular body training exercises. This exercise provides multiple benefits and targets multiple areas of the body, specifically those which have to be super They target and strengthen our glutes, quadriceps, hips and hamstring and increases your over all body strength. For a better body strength and lower back, one repetition is not enough one should do at least 6 to 12 reps.


After each rep get to your starting position and repeat. When all of your strength training is great, your muscles get stronger and consequently you are going to have a great tendency of running. 

Squats increase the flexibility in our legs too. If you lift some weight while doing your exercise, it will be much more beneficial for you. It not only strengthen your legs but also your core and back. You are doing a squat right when your thighs are parallel to the ground such that your legs are creating a 90 degree angle.



Lunges just like other mentioned strength exercises can help runners to build their strength and balance and get stable and coordinated. They build the strength of your legs and help you get a balanced posture and a fit upper body. The lunges engage your core, strengthen your knees and glutes and also target your belly and chest.


You can do it with your own body weight at first and then incorporate weights for best results. They require stability and coordination and as a result help the runner to get more coordinated with his muscle movements and build muscle.  They help the runner to control and strengthen their core, quads, hips back, hamstrings and glutes. Lunges have been proved to be quite useful and effective in strength training for runners.



Burpees are one of the best and diverse strength exercises that uses all of our body weight while one do it and they have been proved quite useful in strength training for runners. They are great for runners as they engage all the muscles that are not stressed much in running. Their training also helps in burning lots of calories.


They strengthen the runner’s upper back, that will provide him full body stability while he runs. Burpees unlike most strength exercises involves the use of almost all the body parts such as left and right leg, you have to stand with your feet , shoulder width apart laying down, and both of these exercises which strengthens your legs muscle groups.

Bench Press:


Bench Press is a very smart and beneficial exercise for runners, that help them to strengthen their muscles and joints, and as a result they can improve their running time and endurance.


Bird Dog:


Bird dog is a exercise that controls your leg and arm extension, keeping your spine stable. It strengthens the runner’s core, lower back and spine. It also targets the glutes and In this you have to keep your back straight and right arm and left leg directed towards the floor and keeping left hand and right leg in air. When done with one rep, do other rep with alternate leg and hand.

Bird Dog

Push Ups:


Runners should always make sure to add pushups to their exercise routine. It is a multi-task exercise that targets the runner’s chest, shoulders and core exercises. This can help you in better and faster running. They need no equipment but the best of results. A strong core helps you to keep good posture during your running. Push-ups engage your whole body and improve your running performance.

Push Ups

Mountain Climber:


This exercise is one of the best exercise for everyone, but fir runners it is It engages both the upper and lower body of a person and provides great benefits. It pumps up your heart rate, engages your legs, abs and arms and provides great stability. These can be added before and after the run, doesn’t take much time and gives a great boast to your body. They develop the strength and power for the runner that helps him running in long and short distances. You can try it in many different ways like mountain climbers with alternating shoulder tap, with plank jack, in the fire donkey position etc.

Mountain Climber

Pull Ups:


Pull ups helps the runners to get functionally strong while staying light. It uses the runner’s body weight as assistance and gives practice to run with that body weight without adding any bulk. It targets the runner’s forearms, biceps, back muscles and stabilizes the shoulders. It provides additional balance that can help the runner to run fast. It also improves the functional upper body strength. It can be done by stretching the shoulder width apart and pulling your body upwards using the strength of upper body.

Pull Ups

Dead Lift:


Saved the best for the last, dead lifting is an extremely beneficial exercise for runners just like side plank. 10 reps of it twice per week makes the runner stronger, hitting many important areas.  These strength exercises add strength to your glutes and hamstring, that strengthens your posterior, and will help the runner to run faster in a much strong fashion due to the strong foot strikes that too without the risk of injury. 


It can help the runners to avoid the knee and joints pain as it strengthens the weak posterior, that is mainly the cause of this pain. It increases the endurance of runner to run longer and better. Dead lift is among one of the elite strength exercises for runners, and it is also fun when you get used to it. It can help the runners to build strong muscle groups, upper back and lower back and shed the unnecessary fat and gain lean

So, in conclusion a runner who wants strong body and endurance for long runs will always have to combine the running with these strength exercises to get his running game to the next level!

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