Strengthen your legs in just 15 minutes with this Runner’s Legs Workout. Three sets with two workouts each completed twice through will have your legs strong and ready to run fast!
As I have hinted at a few times, I am training for a race. After being on a runner’s high after my fall half marathon and feeling inspired after watching the Olympic Marathon Trials, I was so ready to jump back into training for a new race. I decided not to run a half marathon this spring – even though getting the registration emails from the half marathon I ran last spring have made it really hard to resist – but still wanted to run a race. I decided on an early June race to run. I originally planned on running the 10k race since I have never raced a 10k, but then I saw there was a combo race offered where you run a 10k AND a 5k. So I thought, why not run an extra 5k after a 10k? I registered and am ready to go.
Although the race is a long ways away, I decided to jump on a training plan already because I thrive off of following a training plan. Trust me, this winter, the motivation was just not there to run consistently since I was not training for anything. I also felt like I have lost a lot of speed and endurance over the winter, so I wanted to ease myself into a training plan and feel really ready to go by race day. I found a Nike 15k training plan and it has been great so far. It gives you workouts for every day of the week (including rest days) and you put them into your schedule whichever day works best for you. It is super flexible and the speed workouts have been excellent to kick my butt back into gear… and to the track.
So now that I am back on the running grind, I am working on strengthening my legs not just through running, but through strength training too. I created this 15 minute Runner’s Legs Workout to do post-run to strengthen my legs.
Complete each set twice before moving onto the next set.
Deadlifts: Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and hold them by your side. Stand with your body straight and your legs spaced shoulder width, knees slightly bent. Keeping your legs stationary, lower the dumbbells to just over the top of your feet by bending at the waist, keeping your back straight. Bring your torso back up straight by extending your waist and hips until you are back at your starting position. Repeat.
Single Leg Deadlifts: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and hold it by your side. Stand on one leg (the same side you are holding the dumbbell). Keeping that knee slightly bent, bend at the hip extending your free leg back. Continue to lower the dumbbell until you are parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat.
Weighted Squats: Position your legs shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells on top of each shoulder. Bend your knees as you maintain a straight posture, continue down until your upper legs are below parallel to the floor. Your knees should be straight with your toes. Do not let your knees go past your toes. Move your body back up and straighten your legs to get back to the starting position. Repeat.
Lunges: You can perform these either forward or rear. Stand with your body upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Step forward (or backward) with one foot about two feet from the other foot, keep your torso straight and maintain balance. Push up and back to the starting position. Repeat.
Weighted Pulsing Side Planks: Lay on your mat on one side and stack your feet on top of each other. Position your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and torso off the ground, keeping your abs contracted. Hold a dumbbell on top of your thigh. Lower and raise your hips toward and away from the ground in small pulsing movements. Repeat pulses.
Pulsing Bridges: You can use a dumbbell for this one if you would like extra weight. Lay on your mat facing up with arms to your side, knees bent and heels on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground with shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line. Pulse up and down with small movements. Repeat pulses.
Even if you are not a runner, this workout is for you! I use 10-15 lb dumbbells for this routine, but feel free to use what works best for you.
Please note: I am not a certified personal trainer. Please do this workout at your own caution and listen to your body as to modify as needed. Consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.