There is no question that running is a great way to get in shape, burn calories, and improve your cardiovascular health.
However, if you want to take your running game to the next level, you must add some leg exercises to your routine.
By strengthening your legs, you can run further and faster with less effort.
If you want to start running like a pro, check out these eleven leg exercises to help you!
Stronger legs mean you can run further and faster with less effort, so add these exercises to your routine to see some serious results.
Leg Exercise #01: High Knees
This exercise is great for warming your legs and increasing your heart rate.
To do high knees, simply stand tall and bring your right knee up towards your chest.
Then, quickly switch legs and bring your left knee up. Continue alternating sides for 30-60 seconds.
Leg Exercise #02: Butt Kicks
Butt kicks are another great exercise for warming up your legs.
To do this exercise, start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Then, lift your left leg behind you and kick towards your glutes with the heel of your foot.
Alternate legs and continue for 30-60 seconds.
Leg Exercise #03: Side Shuffle
The side shuffle is a great way to improve lateral movement and agility.
To do this exercise, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Then, take a large step to the right with your right foot and follow it with your left foot.
Continue shuffling to the right for 20-30 seconds, then repeat going to the left.
Leg Exercise #04: Forward Lunges
Lunges are a great way to strengthen your legs, improve balance, and increase flexibility.
To do a forward lunge, start in a standing position with your feet together.
Take a large step forward with your right leg and lower your body until both of your knees form 90-degree angles.
Push off with your right leg to return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Alternate sides and continue for 30-60 seconds.
Leg Exercise #06: Lateral Lunge
Lateral lunges are another great exercise for runners.
They help improve your balance and coordination, while also working the muscles in your legs in a different way.
To do a lateral lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step to the side with one leg.
Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is close to touching the ground.
Push off with your leg to return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Leg Exercise #07: Squats
Squats are a great way to improve your running speed and endurance.
By working the muscles in your legs in a different way, you can add power and explosiveness to your stride.
To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
Leg Exercise #08: Calf Raises
Calf raises are a great way to improve your running speed and endurance.
To do a calf raise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise up on your toes.
Hold for a moment, then lower back down. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.
Leg Exercise #9: Dead Lifts
Deadlifts are a great way to improve your running speed and endurance.
To do a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend down until your hands touch the ground.
Then, stand back up and repeat.
Leg Exercise #10: Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts are a great way to improve your running speed and endurance.
By working the muscles in your legs differently, you can add power and explosiveness to your stride.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent to do a hip thrust.
Then, raise your hips up off the ground and hold for a moment. Lower back down and repeat.
Doing these leg exercises will help you run faster and farther. Be sure to add them to your workout routine!
How to add leg exercises into your running routine
It’s no secret that running is great for your legs.
It’s great to get your heart rate up and tone your leg muscles.
However, if you’re looking for even more leg-toning benefits, you can add some leg exercises into your running routine.
For instance, you can use ankle weights to increase the resistance against which your leg muscles have to work.
Or, you can add some hill sprints into your runs – not only will this help to build up your leg muscles, but it will also help to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
So, next time you head out for a run, mix things up and add some leg exercises into the mix – your legs will thank you for it!
What are the benefits of strengthening your legs?
Strong legs are the foundation of a healthy body.
They support your spine, help you balance, and make walking, running, and jumping possible.
You can move more easily and with less effort when your legs are strong.
You may also have less pain in your back, knees, and hips.
If you sit for most of the day, you may find that strengthening your legs can help to improve your energy levels and reduce fatigue.
And if you play sports, having strong legs can give you an edge over the competition.
No matter your goals, strengthening your legs can help you achieve them.
Few Tips and pieces of Advice
For anyone interested in running faster, improving leg strength is crucial.
Unfortunately, many runners mistake neglecting their legs in favor of upper-body workouts.
As a result, they quickly hit a plateau in their speed and find it difficult to make further progress.
Leg exercises should be a key component of any runner’s workout routine to avoid this problem. Here are a few tips to help you get started
- Focus on multi-joint exercises: These exercises work multiple muscles simultaneously, resulting in greater leg strength and power. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are all excellent choices.
- Incorporate plyometrics: Plyometric exercises help to improve your ability to generate force. As a result, they can help you run faster and jump higher. Box jumps, bounding drills, and sprints are all great plyometric exercises for runners.
- Don’t forget about single-leg exercises: These are often overlooked, but they’re very important for runners. They help to improve balance and coordination, which can prevent injuries. Single-leg squatting and lunging are great examples of single-leg exercises that runners can benefit from.
By following these tips, you can develop strong legs that will help you run faster than ever before.