6 Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners

Best and effective strength training exercises for runners (Image via Unsplash/ Total Shape)
Best and effective strength training exercises for runners (Image via Unsplash/ Total Shape)

Strength training exercises can be considered the backbone for cross-training and endurance training of runners.

Their fitness can be maximized with a varied training routine comprising strength exercises, explosive movement, and hill training. That significantly helps improve their athletic performance and reduce the likelihood of injuries.

Strength training exercises provide numerous other benefits, like improved explosive strength, better agility, stronger body, increased stamina, and better muscle endurance.

Strength Training Exercises for Runners

We have curated a list of the six best and most effective strength training exercises runners can incorporate in their workout routine:

1) Single Leg Deadlift

A single leg deadlift is one of the best strength training exercises runners can incorporate in their workout routine.

This exercise helps in strengthening both leg and hip muscles, which is great for building better balance in the body. Regularly doing a single leg deadlift can also help tone the muscles of the lower body and enhancing athleticism.


Additionally, the unilateral movement of this exercise can help correct muscle imbalance of the legs and work on the posterior body chain, counteracting poor posture. such as slouching.

2) Bird Dog

The bird dog is among the simple yet effective strength training exercises runners can incorporate into their training to improve stability and reduce lower back pain. This exercise also helps tone and strengthen the legs, back, hips, and core muscles. The greater range of motion also allow boosts movement.

There are various modifications to the exercise runners can include as per the specific muscles they want to target and to make the workout challenging.

3) Weighted Lunge

Weighted lunges are especially good strength training exercises for runners, as they work on several muscle groups, including the quads, glutes, back, abdominals, hamstrings, and calves.

They help build muscle mass along with enhancing posture and range of motion. Weighted lunges are a popular exercise among athletes, as they help improve stability and mobility by strengthening the posterior chain and muscles.


There are several modifications to weighted lunges athletes can include to target their muscles differently. This exercise also entails unilateral movement, which helps correct muscle imbalance and build equal strength on both sides of the body.

4) Push-up

Push-ups are one of the most basic yet effective strength training exercises that provide several benefits, making it popular among fitness enthusiasts.

Regularly performing push-ups can significantly enhance your athletic and sports performance. This exercise also helps torch a high number of calories along with toning the shoulders and abdominals.

Additionally, push-ups can help runners to improve their posture and balance, reducing likelihood of injury.

5) Goblet Squat

Goblet squats are among the easier strength training exercises runners can include in their training.

Due to the weight positioning in goblet squats, it's easier to descend into the deeper squat position, which is a lot harder with the back and front squats. That allows for greater activation of the core muscles along with reducing the stress from the lower back.

Furthermore, goblet squats help enhance functional movements that often mimic the movement required for day-to-day activities.


6) Barbell Deadlift

The barbell deadlift is a dynamic strength training exercise that helps in building strength. This full body exercise efficiently trains both your upper and lower body, with special emphasis on hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

Including barbell deadlifts in your training routine can enhance your leg strength to a whole new level. Additionally, barbell deadlifts help in torching a high number of calories and improve core strength.

Bottom Line

The aforementioned strength training exercises can provide runners with several benefits along with vastly improving their sports performance.

These exercises also provide other benefits, such as a greater range of motion, strengthening of muscles, burning a high number of calories, toning the body, and more.

It's advised that beginners start with a proper warm-up before starting with these strength training exercises to better prepare their body for a workout and avoid injury.

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Edited by Bhargav
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