Exercise for track runners

Strength training can have significant benefits for runners. First, stronger leg muscles can deliver more power when you run while strengthening connective tissue.

Better upper body strength can also increase running efficiency. With a stronger core, you will maintain a stable upper body, minimize side-to-side movements – and better stay in shape at the end of a race when you start to get tired. And by developing strength in your arms, you will improve your arm movement so that you can inject more power into your crotch.

Start by doing the exercises with only your body weight and use free weights to feel stronger.


Reps and sets: 10 reps; 2 sets

Benefits: Strengthening the chest and shoulders and improving posture and arm movement while running.

  • Lie with face down and your hands on the floor on each side of your chest. Your toes should be hidden underneath.
  • Press down on the hands, lift the body off the floor. Keep your body straight.
  • Lower the body again, almost to the floor, and repeat.

Dumbbell row

Reps and sets: 12 reps on each side; 2 sets

Benefits: Strengthens the upper back to balance the chest strength.

  • Place your knee on a bench. 
  • Take a manual in your right hand, arm outstretched against the floor.
  • Pull the weight up towards you, keep your elbow close to your waist, and lower it to the starting position.

Triceps dips

Reps and sets: 12 reps; 2 sets

Benefits: Help you maintain an upright running position.

  • Sit with the palm of your hands on a bench with your fingers over the edge.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower yourself. Push up again with your arms (avoid using your legs to lift yourself) and repeat.

Step up

Reps and sets: 10 reps on each side; 2 sets

Benefits: Moves all major muscle groups in the legs and improves running power.

  • Use a bench or box.
  • Place one foot on the bench and slide off the hind leg to go up, keeping the body high and the knee above the ankle of the support leg. Think about moving your hips forward and up instead of pulling along your knees.
  • Move the strut up to a high knee position without touching the bench. Then lower it to the floor again.
  • To increase the difficulty level, hold manuals in each hand.


Reps and sets: 15 reps; 2 sets

Benefits: Strengthens the essential muscle groups used when running and reduces the risk of injury. It also improves flexibility for a faster and more efficient running step.

  • Start the exercise with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Sit down and bend your knees and hips as if sitting on a chair.
  • Keep your knees above your ankles and chest up. Focus on getting your ass back.
  • Lower near a sitting position, push up through the heels, and return to standing.
  • Hold a dumbbell at chest height while performing the movement to increase the degree of difficulty or rest a barbell over your upper back.

Walking lunges

Reps and sets: 8 reps on each side; 2 sets

Benefits: Improves single leg balance for improved stability and coordination when running. It also increases stride length and helps you run faster.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a step forward and lower your body and back knee to the floor, ensuring it does not make contact.
  • Hold the front knee over the ankle and body upright.
  • Slide off the rear leg and push the front leg back to meet the rear portion.
  • Repeat alternately leading legs.

One-legged deadlift

Reps and sets: 10 reps on each side; 2 sets

Benefits: Strengthens buttocks and hamstrings to increase running power while improving stability for reduced risk of injury.

  • Stand with a manual or kettlebell in your right hand.
  • Raise your foot off the floor and stretch your left leg behind you. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, and your right arm stretched out toward the floor.
  • Hold a slight bend in the right knee and keep the hips level.
  • Move the weight almost down to the floor and back as close to horizontal as you can before returning to the starting position.


Reps and sets: 10 reps; 2 sets

Benefits: Strengthen the middle and upper back for a more stable, upright running position and improved running efficiency.

  • Lie down face down with your hands by your ears, palms facing down.
  • Lift your upper body off the floor. Continue to look at the floor to avoid stretching your neck.
  • Lower to starting position and repeat.

Related articles:

Tips on jogging for beginners

Best intervals for running


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