The best workout moves for runners to build leg strength

We caught up with PT and yogi Shona Vertue to find out the moves you need to build stronger legs.



by Runner's World x New Balance

This content has been created in collaboration with New Balance.

When it comes to running it’s no surprise that building strength in your legs is key to improving your time, stamina – and enjoyment. But few runners are experts when it comes to the most effective moves for powerful pins.

Which is why we caught up with PT, yogi and New Balance ambassador Shona Vertue (@shona_vertue) to discover the top three exercises runners need to improve their leg strength. Each of these moves can be done almost anywhere – all you need is a small kettlebell.

1. Weighted squats

This works…

Your whole body, but especially your quads, hamstrings, glutes and core.

How to…

Perform a regular squat only with the kettlebell held to one side. This weight imbalance makes the move a little bit more demanding for your body, but it trains your core more effectively.

Why I love it…

One of the things that people tend to neglect when training for an endurance event is strength, because strength will ultimately lead to endurance, says Vertue. “Squats will build endurance, strength and also create the flexibility you need guard against injuries.”

2. Weighted step back lunge

This works…

Your legs and glutes.

How to…

Hold the weight by your side with a straight arm and step back into a deep lunge position.

Why I love it…

Runners sometimes have weak glutes because they run on their toes, which leads their quads to be more active, says Vertue.

“For my running clients I always get them doing glute work to keep their buns nice and strong. Which will, in turn, protect their back – often something that endurance running causes to get sore.”

3. Single leg deadlift

This works…

Your full body, with a specific focus on your core and hamstrings.

How to…

Holding the kettlebell in one hand, hinge forward at your hips while maintaining a straight back, lift one leg back as you lower the weight towards the floor. Keep your arms straight throughout.

Why I love it…

Similarly to a squat, this move works not just your legs but your core as well, says Vertue. “Runners often have knee problems caused by weak hamstrings. The great thing about single leg deadlifts is they will strengthen your hamstring connection, which will protect your knees, as well as building your booty!”

New Balance Toughest Opponent is a story about the battles we have within ourselves. The niggling mind games that play out between our ears that make us question whether to run that extra mile, to lift that heavier weight, or to go forward and push harder, faster and stronger than we did the day before. Find out more at: http://www.newbalance.co.uk/TougestOpponent.

You are your toughest opponent.


Previous article
3 simple yoga moves for runners
Next article
How to build strength for long distance running

 
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle


Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member
Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.