The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults perform resistance exercises for each of the major muscle groups two or more times per week. This is especially important for runners, as a strong musculature can better absorb the impact stress of footstrikes. The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) recommends doing 15-minute sessions, such as the one below, three times per week.
1/ Reverse crunch with exercise ball
Roll over the ball so your hands are on the floor in front of it. Walk your hands out until they’re below your shoulders and your lower legs rest on the ball. Bend your knees and hips to pull the ball in, then roll it back. Repeat for 60 seconds.
2/ Hip extension leg curl with exercise ball
Lie on the floor with your heels on top of the ball and your arms by your sides. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line. Pull the ball toward your bum, then roll it back. Repeat 30 times.
3/ Single-leg wall squat with exercise ball
Wedge the ball between your back and a wall. Step out and lower into a squat. Extend your right leg, push through your left leg to stand, then lower. Repeat 20 times, then switch sides.
4/ Box step-up
Place your left foot on a box that allows your thigh to be parallel to the ground. Push through your left heel and leg to stand, then step down with your right leg. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
5/ Bird dog
Starting on all fours, reach forward with your right arm and backward with your left leg so both are parallel to the floor. Hold for three seconds, return to starting position, then switch sides. Do 15 reps on each side.
6/ Kickback with resistance band
While standing, loop a resistance band just above your ankles. Lift your left foot just off the ground and drive it behind you. Pause, then return to starting position. Do 15 reps, then switch sides.
7/ Single-leg bridge
Lie on your back, with your feet under your knees. Straighten your left leg and push through your right heel to raise your bum. Pause, then slowly lower. Do 20 reps, then switch sides.
8/ Dumbbell clocker shoulder raise
Hold light dumbbells. Imagining that you’re at the centre of a clock facing 12, raise your arms until they’re parallel to the ground at clock position 12, then lower. Repeat at 1 and 11, 2 and 10, and 3 and 9. Perform this sequence another four times.