6 Muscle Building Exercises Essential for the Runner

 Reinforcement of the muscular chains allowing the maintenance of posture and the transfer of the forces. For a beginner runner, the exercises will be in contraction isometric (maintaining static positions). Always look for the perfect ankle-pelvis-shoulder alignment. Lock the pelvis by tightening the buttocks and contracting the abdominals during exercise.
 Ventral sheathing:Position of the board, support on both elbows / toes (possible variant by placing the knees on the ground for beginners). Be careful, no back dug, no buttocks in high position breaking the joint alignment.
 Lateral sheathing:Lying on the side, we take support on an elbow while raising the basin. The second arm can be stretched in alignment with the first. Again, we must keep the concern for alignment and contract the abdominals. Both sides will have to be worked (support right elbow, then left elbow) successively.

Ideally, the runner can create a cladding circuit allowing the linking ventral sheathing + lateral sheathing without pause time. Duration: from 20 seconds for beginners to 1 minute for more confirmed athletes. If necessary, take a recovery time equal to the effort time. Five to ten repetitions depending on the levels.


Objective: Reinforcement of the abdominal strap.
 Crunch: Position lying on the back, legs at the square. The lower back should be flat on the ground. On the exhale, dig the belly, take off the shoulder blades and head off the ground. Mark a little downtime then go down slowly while inhaling. No brutal movements, especially at the neck. The role of breathing is paramount. Number of movements that can go from 3 sets of 15 – with 1 minute 30 of rest between each – to 5 sets of 20.


Reinforcement of the scapular belt (arms, shoulders …). Raised pumps supported on an element in height (bench, barrier …) or on the ground. As for cladding, check the joint alignment. The abdominals will be contracted during the exercises. Supports feet on the ground and hands. One moves from a stretched arm position to a flexed arm position. The exhale is on the descent, the inspiration on the ascent.

Make 3 sets of 6 to 10 for the beginner, 5 sets of 10 to 15 for a confirmed runner.


Objective: Muscular strengthening of the legs (thighs and glutes). Take a big step forward. The front knee is aligned vertically with the foot. The hind leg bends to reach a few inches from the ground (without touching it). The back stays straight, the arms balance the posture (the right arm is forward if the left leg is too, and vice versa). Alternate right and left movements. Make 3 x 6 to 8 repetitions, with 1 minute of recovery for the beginner, 3 to 4 x 12 repetitions for a confirmed runner.


Objective:  Muscular strengthening of the thighs in isometric contraction (without movement). Support your back against a wall and put yourself in a chair position , making sure that the legs are square (a 90 ° angle between the thigh and the trunk, and between the thigh and the calves) . Maintaining posture ranging from 3 sets of 30 seconds for a beginner to 6 x 1 minute for a confirmed. The recovery time between each exercise is equal to the effort time.


Objective: Muscular strengthening of the calf muscles. Feet flat or forefoot resting on a step. One raises the heels by growing as much as possible then one returns to the initial position by alternating. Make 3 sets of 8 round trips for a beginner to 5 sets of 10 round trips. One minute of recovery between each.

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