Weight training to Improve core and posture

Strength Exercises for Runners


Q: Why should I Undertake a strength training programme into my running training? And what are the best ways/exercises to do that?

A: There are so many reasons and i will begin to explain.

Lets begin by taking two different peoples training program for the half marathon. One person is strong, the other is weak. Who’s more durable and more likely to be able to handle the increased milage and physiological changes that happen when training for the half marathon?weights for running economy

At a bare minimum, you have to be able to tolerate forces equivalent to 2.5 times your bodyweight per stride. That is: a 150lb person, this is 375lbs of force. Go run 1 mile and you quickly accumulate about 750,000 lbs of force. The facts are clear you need to be very strong to deal with the forces that are put through the body during running.


The conscience runner who incorporates speed training within their training regime, would actually be wiser to begin with strength training. Once they have become robust through weight and circuit training they can add speed on top of this. Strength forms a stable base that speed can be built upon. It can not happen in reverse.

Another important factor to talk about briefly is hormonal balance. Testosterone is a very important hormone when it comes to running and training performance. It can help with not only maintaining high levels of performance but also helps recovery on a quicker rate between sessions. High milage will not help you acquire the level of testosterone needed, and in fact there is evidence that it can hamper levels of testosterone. The best way to keep high levels of testosterone is to lift heavy weights in the gym around twice weekly.

So let’s sum up: strength training is for those who want to run longer or faster, without being chronically injured. There is no speed without strength and there is no endurance without strength. So basically strength is KING.

What is the best exercise to do?

Its very important to note that every person is different and what works for one athlete might not work for another. Everyones history is different and characteristics are individual. If you have little experience in this area, I would recommend seeking help from a qualified strength coach.

Taken all this into account i will go over some of the most important and fundamental strength exercise. To keep things simple, i will focus on four: crawling, the squat, the hip hinge, and the carry.


In a few years this technique will be all the rage, but for now you will have to make do with people giving you funny looks at the gym when you perform this exercise. Crawling is a developmental movement pattern we all do when we are around one or two years old and it works like magic to develop our shoulder, core, and hip integrity, but mainly it prepares us to walk and eventually run.

Simply stated, since crawling precedes walking and running, if you can’t crawl beautifully, then chances are you can’t run beautifully.

For training purposes you should try the Leopard Crawl (picture) Keep  LEOPARD CRAWL

your knees only an inch off the ground and your head held high, your eyes should always be looking forward. Make sure to lift and place your hands and feet and try not to hold your breath as you crawl. You can perform this movement forward,backwards, sideways and in circles. Try and find your best motion and have fun with it. After a while your quads and shoulders will start to burn.

The Squat

Strength Exercises for Runners

We all know what the squat is and most of us at some time have performed one. Beginners should try the Goblet Squat (pictured) and more advanced performers should gravitate more towards the Barbell front squat. Both of these are excellent exercises to challenge and strengthen your abs and hips, which is something every runner needs.


The Hip Hinge / Deadlift

It is very important to establish a good pattern without weight first. Its also a good idea to get someone else to watch you train, it is very hard to pick up on things while you are training and set of eyes watching you, can pick up things that you might not. This can also be achieved by videoing yourself. Beginners should start with Glut Bridges, then move onto Hip Thrusts, Single leg hip thrusts and soon enough Barbell Glut bridges. All are safe, simple, highly effective exercises that will strengthen your bottom considerably.

For some half marathon training sessions try here

The best exercise to increase glut and lower back strength amongst a whole range of other muscles is the dead lift. This may take a little while to learn the actual movement (taking extra special care not to curve your back)  but once mastered, strength will sky rocket.

The Carry

The Farmer Carry and Suitcase Carry are two excellent exercise. They are simple and hugely effective at building strength. For the Farmer Carry, just hold a heavy weight in each hand and walk. The Suitcase Carry is exactly how it is described, walk with a weight in one hand  and notice how tight and torte your core gets on the other side of your body.Strength Exercises for Runners

The important factors to remember with both of these movements is to maintain good posture all the time, try and not to slouch and slump and keep my your head up and eyes forward. Allow your feet to cross paths. I usually recommend choosing a weight you can carry with great form for 20-60 seconds.

Strength Exercises for Runners

As runners all we really want to do is run. But by taking a little time in preparing and undertaking a strength program, faster running times are just around the corner. And strength is the hidden ingredient.



Gareth Warburton is a professional athlete with almost 20 years of running experience at the highest level. Having competed in numerous teams for Great Britain and having ran at the Olympic Games in London in 2012, he really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to running. Check out other training plans and routines at the Running Training Club