Here are five fantastic exercises that will specifically benefit runners by strengthening the core, hips, and legs. They are actually on the advanced side of exercises so don’t attempt them unless you are well conditioned or have the guidance of an exercise professional. Try doing these exercises twice a week after an easy run, this will help to build strength in your body and maintain lean muscle mass. Aim to do two or three sets of ten repetitions of each exercise and make sure you exercise both sides of your body equally or you may start running round in circles!


Side plank leg raises

Runner showing the side plank with leg raise exercis

  • This is an advanced exercise but there are plenty of good alternatives
  • Start in the side plank position
  • Raise your top arm then raise your top leg (make sure you keep your body as straight as possible)
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets then repeat on the other side
  • If you find this exercise difficult to do you can either do a simple side plank and hold for five seconds or lie on your side, raise your top leg and hold that position for 5 seconds


Marching bridge

Runner showing the marching bridge exercise

  • Start by lying on your back with your knees and hips bent
  • Raise your hips by contracting your glutes and pushing your torso and pelvis up until your hips are straight
  • Hold your hips up and bring one knee up towards your chest slowly
  • Take that knee back down slowly and repeat with the other leg
  • Make sure this is a controlled movement
  • Do 10 repetitions total for 2-3 sets
  • If you find this exercise difficult to do you can do part one and two of the exercise, hold for 5 seconds then return to the starting position and repeat


Mountain climbers

Runner showing the mountain climber exercise

  • Start in the plank position with your arms and legs straight
  • Bring one knee into your chest and kick back
  • Repeat with the other side
  • Do 10 repetitions in total and complete 2-3 sets
  • If you find this exercise difficult to do you can break it into two exercises by: 1) holding the plank position for 3 sets of 20 seconds and 2) lie on you back and do the knee into chest action with your legs for 10 reps and 2-3 sets


Scorpion fighter

Runner showing scorpion fighter running exercise

  • Another advanced one!
  • Start with your feet up on a bench/chair and your arms out straight so that they’re supporting your body
  • Begin this exercise by bringing one leg under your body, bending your knee as you do so
  • You then bring your leg back out to your side and over your body as shown above
  • You have to really use your core to control this movement
  • Repeat for the other leg and complete 10 reps total for 2-3 sets
  • If you find this exercise difficult to do you can lie on your front on the floor and raise one leg back and across your body. Repeat for the other leg and a total of 10 reps for 2-3 sets


Lunge matrix


  • We have Joe in a video for this one!
  • This exercise was featured in our “3 Steps to a Park Run PB” post
  • Repeat each lunge for a total of 10 reps and 2-3 sets
  • Make sure to prevent that knee from “dropping in”. Try to keep it running smoothly over the top of your foot in a straight line
  • Don’t over-stride

For more great exercises for runners please get in touch or come and see us for one of our great one-to-one sessions!