Top 10 Exercises for Runners

Writer: Bodyenroute Trainer Joslynn Corredor
Pro-Tec Athletics x Trail Sisters

Why strength train? 

So you don’t have constant injuries. Injury prevention. Power so you can increase the speed and reach pace goals. Coordination so you run more efficiently. Most importantly….

So you can do what you love. Running.

Because that is the main goal right? I know that is always my goal as a coach is to have my clients do the sport that they love and be able to perform in the way they want. 

Women have a greater need to perform hip and glute strengthening exercises because we are predisposed to knee injuries.

What to do?

Here they are my top 10 take about a minute between exercises: 

  1. Lateral Band walks. These are great because well runners tend to only move forward and our bodies need a little movement going in a different direction every so often. Am I right? Use mini resistance bands and place right above your knees. Keep tension the entire time and take little steps laterally.  I love the Resistance Bands from Pro-Tec Athletics. They are awesome! Doing 2 sets 30 seconds walking each direction is great a few times a week. 
  2. Glute Bridges. Because they are part of our power house. So why not strengthen that part? Use Resistance Bands to make more difficult. Place them above the knee, lie on your back, feet hip distance apart and raise your hips up as much as you can, okay at the top squeeze those glutes! Hold for a second while at the same time not letting the band lose any resistance. Great. Now lower slow. Repeat. 2 sets 10-12 reps. Burn, Baby Burn. 
  3. Calf Raises. Hold on to something for balance if needed or not, either way just keep your balance. Standing hip distance apart now raise your heels weight those toes and repeat. 2 sets 15 reps try to lower slow and controlled. 
  4. Physioball glute curls. Okay these are one of my favorites! These are similar to the glute bridges except when you raise up you will also pull the physioball in while still keeping those hips up. Hamstrings yesss. They are the biceps of our legs and oh my, they also help with the speed when running. 3 sets 8-10 reps 
  5. Plank. I know everyone knows this one but it is so good! Do you do it regularly? It’s just one you can do anywhere. Our trunks are what hold us up. So make them strong! Start in good push-up position and lower to your forearms with shoulders over your elbows. Make sure shoulders are back and down, lower back is tense you are rigid. 2-3 sets 45-60 seconds. 
  6. Side plank. Well…this is the same as plank except different. You are in a similar position except on your side. So start on forearms shift weight to one arm one leg so you are stacked up. Make sure whichever side you start with the hip towards the sky is raised and exaggerated. Like you are holding a side crunch. Great. 2-3 sets 20-30 seconds on each side. 
  7. Superman. This one is fun you can pretend you are sky diving. But you are flat on the ground. So very far away from the sky. Okay so lie on the ground face down. Raise arms and legs off the ground at the same time, quads too and hold for about 5-10 seconds while tension is both in quads glutes and back, point those toes. Great relax and repeat. 2-3 sets 60 seconds. 
  8. Split Squat. This one you will start in a 90-90 lunge position and start with body weight if you have never lifted. If you have then you are welcome to use weight just be careful land make sure you keep good form. From lunge position you will stand up and really drive with the front foot making sure it is weighted evenly and hips are both facing forward even as well. 2-3 sets of 8 reps on each leg resting 45-60 seconds between each set. 
  9. Box Step ups. Start with a low box if you have never done these. You will step up and down repeat making sure your knee is right over your ankle the entire time not moving in. Then you will repeat with the other leg after you have finished one set on one leg.  If you know this exercise doing with barbells or dumbbells is great to overload more and increase strength. 2 sets of 6 reps on each leg. As you get stronger you can add weight or increase the height of the box.
  10. Push ups. Because why ignore your arms? Start with knee push-ups if you have never done them. This will increase total trunk strength and again you can do this even when you are traveling. Start on all fours arms should only go to 90 degrees if you are new to this. Keep shoulders away from your ears also back and down. Lower down (you can use a yoga block to cue you and push up! If this still feels too hard you can do on a raised surface or table top! 

Consistency. Reality. 

Really being consistency is key. It’s your ticket to doing your sport without pain. 

Joslynn using Pro-Tec Athletics Orb Massage Ball

It is so hard to stay on top of everything, including everything else life can throw at you. So here are some that you can split up and do regularly. Most of all have fun! Don’t take it too seriously and make sure you treat yourself like an athlete! 

Pro-Tec Athletics x Trail Sisters

This blog post was written by Joslynn Corredor (founder of BodyenRoute) for Pro-Tec Athletics and Trail Sisters. Trail Sisters is a women’s trail running community and online journal. In addition to the journal, they host women’s discussion panels, award the Trail Sisters Adventure Grants, host Women’s Run With Her Trail Running Retreats and more. Join the community and experience the camaraderie of an awesome group of empowered women making change.


  1. “Gender Differences in Lower Extremity Mechanics during Running.” Clinical Biomechanics, Elsevier, 28 Mar. 2003,

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