Home Workouts That Will Improve Your Running

Now is the perfect time to work on your running strength and conditioning.


Amy Hopkins |

Being a runner and being stuck at home is not ideal… To be honest, I’ve found it quite frustrating and miss the mental-health benefits that I get from running. But, this can be an opportunity to work on things we often “don’t find the time to do” (or avoid because we just want to run instead).

No running in isolation, now what?

“The best thing you could possibly do during this isolated period is work on your running strength and conditioning. This will ensure a smooth transition back into your routine when you hit the road again,” says David Leith, a biokineticist and endurance running consultant at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. Plus, David has a Masters in Exercise Science and spends a lot of time coaching strength and conditioning for runners. Being a trail runner himself, David is all too aware of the frustrations we experience being in isolation and is here to help.

He recommends focusing on these key areas: mobility, activation exercises, stability and strength exercises, conditioning and core stability exercises.

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Exercises runners can do at home

Check out the 10 moves below that David has put together for your home practise. Then watch the video below to see him demonstrate each move.

  • Mobility exercise 1: pike, stride and rotate
  • Mobility exercise 2: seated hip openers
  • Running-specific activation exercise 1: dynamic hamstring reach
  • Running-specific activation exercise 2: glute kickbacks
  • Strength and stability exercise 1: single-leg glute-ham bridge
  • Strength and stability exercise 1: single-leg sit to stand
  • Conditioning exercise 1: lateral bench step-overs
  • Conditioning exercise 1: walking lunges
  • Core stability exercise 1: deadbug
  • Core stability exercise 2: side plank with leg lift

Strength and conditioning programme for runners

So, here is some exciting news for all runners in isolation wanting to do more! The Sport Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) has launched a new home-based strength and conditioning programme. Yes, please!

This programme for runners offers a plethora of benefits. These include: feeling more stable and in control when running, improved gait stability and efficiency and reduced injury risk. As a result, you’ll feel stronger on climbs and more in control on descents. It will also help with delayed muscle fatigue on long runs, faster sustainable running speeds and overall improved performance. Sold!

Each session will involve: a dynamic warm-up with mobility work, running-specific activation, strength work and conditioning and core stability work. These sessions are periodised and progress in intensity over the 10 weeks.

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How the running programme works

Starting on 13 April 2020, participants will begin a 10-week programme of two sessions per week. These are to be done on your own time, in the comfort of your home on Mondays and Wednesdays. David will lead these through WhatsApp group training. Plus, participants will receive a detailed programme followed by videos demonstrating each of the movements. Because who knows what a single-leg glute-ham bridge is, am I right?

READ MORE: “I Went From Never Exercising To Running My First 5k — And Lost 17kg In The Process”

David will be on the other end of the phone to support you through this home-training regime. Minimal equipment will be required, although some exercises will need a resistance band and possibly a suitable medicine ball/dumbbell or kettlebell.

Contact info@ssisa.com or find out more here. Bonus: SSISA are currently offering a 50% discount!

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