10 strength training exercises to run better

Sports coach Laura Fountain reveals 10 exercises to improve your running pace and reduce the risk of injury.
The benefits generated by bodybuilding are far from negligible.

Whether it’s having more powerful legs to put in a more intense effort or strengthening the tendons and ligaments to reduce the risk of injury, there are many positive things about weight training for running.
Strengthening the upper body can improve your running efficiency.

With a more powerful bust, we minimize lateral movements and we allow the body to keep a good hold when the effort becomes intense at the end of the races. Finally, by developing the arms, we improve the efficiency of the stride.

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The exercises below target the legs, arms and torso. Start by doing them with the weights that suit you best and then continue by going crescendo.


How to proceed ?


Follow the exercises below in order, taking 90 seconds of rest between each set and two minutes of rest before moving on to the next exercise. No need to try at all costs to complete the exercises as quickly as possible.

Here, it is above all necessary to do them as cleanly as possible by going to the end of the movements. You can use a mirror to improve yourself or have a friend check to see if you are doing them correctly.


Exercise 1: push-ups
Exercise 1: push-ups
Exercise 1: push-upsExercice 1 : les pompes


10 repetitions over two sets


Benefits : Strengthens abs, shoulders, and arms to improve posture and arm movement while running.

Lie face down, face down, on either side of your chest. Your toes are touching the ground.

Put your hands on the ground to lift your body. Keep your bust straight and avoid stretching your neck.

When your arms are almost fully extended (don’t lock your elbows), lower your bust and go almost to the floor, then start again
Exercise 2: lifting with dumbbells
Exercise 2: lifting with dumbbells
Exercise 2: lifting with dumbbellsExercice 2 : tirage avec haltères

12 reps on each side over two sets

Benefits : strengthens the upper back to better balance the bust.

Place your left knee and your hands on a bench. Your upper body should be horizontal.

Take a dumbbell in your right hand, arm extended towards the floor.

Pull the weight towards you while keeping the elbow close to the waist, then return to the starting position.

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Exercice 3 : dips
Exercice 3 : dips
Exercice 3 : dipsExercice 3 : dips


12 reps over two sets


Benefits : Strengthens arms and shoulders to help you maintain an upright running posture.

  • Stand with the palms of your hands on the edge of a bench.
  • Lower your elbows and walk towards the floor. Straighten up with your arms (avoid using your legs to lift yourself) and repeat the exercise.
    Exercice 4 : step ups
    Exercice 4 : step ups
    Exercice 4 : step upsExercice 4 : step ups

    12 reps over two sets

  • Benefits : Works major leg muscles and improves running power.
  • Stand straight in front of a bench or box (make sure the object is strong enough to support your weight).
  • Place one foot on the bench and push your back leg forward, keeping your body straight and your knee above your ankle on your supporting leg. Consider placing your hips forward rather than leaning forward with your knees.
  • Bring the other leg left on the ground to knee height without it touching the bench. Then bring it back to the ground.
  • To increase the difficulty, you can take dumbbells in each hand.
    Exercise 5: squats
    Exercise 5: squats
    Exercise 5: squatsExercice 5 : les squats
    © Ben Foxall
    15 repetitions over two sets
    Benefits : Strengthens major muscle groups used in running to reduce the risk of injury. Also improves flexibility for a faster, more efficient stride.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than the hips, toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Lower yourself, bending your knees at the hips, as if you were sitting on a chair.

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  • After this sitting position, push up on your heels and come back to a standing position.
  • To increase the difficulty, hold a kettlebell at chest height while performing the movement.
    Exercise 6: lunges while walking
    Exercise 6: lunges while walking
    Exercise 6: lunges while walkingExercice 6 : fentes en marchant
    © Ben Foxall
    8 reps over two sets
    Benefits : Improves leg balance for more stability and coordination while running. Also increases stride length to help you run faster.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a big step forward with one leg and lower your body and your back knee to the floor, making sure it is not in contact with each other.
  • Keep your front knee at the level of your ankle and keep your bust straight.
  • Push your back leg and step back your front leg to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat, alternating the exercise on both legs.
  • To make this exercise more difficult, you can do it with dumbbells (choose a weight that suits you). By using a medicine ball that you hold in front of you, you will be working your heart. As you perform your lunge, keep your arms straight and bring the ball back over your head. Lower it when you return to a standing position.
    Exercise 7: The deadlift on one leg
    Exercise 7: The deadlift on one leg
    Exercise 7: The deadlift on one legExercice 7 : Le soulevé de terre sur une jambe
    © Ben Foxall
    10 repetitions over two sets
    Benefits : Strengthens glutes and hamstrings to increase running power, while improving stability to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Stand up straight with a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground and extend your left leg behind you. Lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your right arm extended towards the floor.
  • Bend the right knee slightly and keep your hips at the same level.
  • Lower the weight almost to the floor and keep the back as horizontal as possible, before returning to the starting position. Repeat the same movement on the other side.
    Exercise 8: Superman / back stretch
    Exercise 8: Superman / back stretch
    Exercise 8: Superman / back stretchExercice 8 : Superman / étirement du dos
    © Ben Foxall
    10 repetitions over two sets
    Benefits : Strengthens the mid and upper back for a more stable and powerful running posture and improves stride efficiency.
  • Lie face down on the floor, hands at ear level, palms down.
  • Lift your chest and shoulders off the ground and work out your abs. Keep your gaze down to avoid stretching your neck too much.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
    Exercise 9: survey of the pelvis
    Exercise 9: survey of the pelvis
    Exercise 9: survey of the pelvisExercice 9 : relevé du bassin
    © Ben Foxall
    15 repetitions over two sets
    Benefits : targets the glutes for a more efficient run. This will help you keep your pelvis at the right level and better align your legs, pelvis, and torso when you run. Your overall stability is thus increased.
  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your pelvis to the sky to create a straight line between your knees, hips and shoulders.
  • Keep your shoulders on the ground to protect your neck.
  • Hold the position for two seconds before slowly lowering and repeating it.
  • To make the exercise more difficult, keep your arms straight above you.
    Exercise 10: leg lifts
    Exercise 10: leg lifts
    Exercise 10: leg liftsExercice 10 : levées de jambes
    © Ben Foxall
    15 repetitions over two sets
    Benefits : Strengthens the hip flexors, which are essential for raising the knees when running. Also works the lower abs for a more stable torso.
  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides.
  • Glue your feet together and lift them vertically.
  • Slowly lower them to the floor and repeat.
  • For your convenience, you can do the exercise using only one leg at a time.

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