Running has always been a popular choice of exercise for people around the world, but the global pandemic of 2020 saw an exercise boom like no other.
The #1 app for runners and cyclists, Strava shows that the pandemic led to an increase in two million new members per month that year, with a total of 21.5 million uploads each week.
Running can help with weight loss and a healthier body overall, however it can also be hugely demanding. If you would like to improve your running performance, then it is vital to combine your weekly runs some workouts you can do at home to help both strengthen and stretch your muscles.
We have created this home workout to help you improve your running performance as well as reduce the chance of injury.
Repeat this circuit 3-5 times
1. Knee Hug - Hold for 20 seconds on each side.
- Lay on your back with hips relaxed and legs outstretched.
- Gently push your lower back into the floor, and bring one knee in, pulling it in towards your chest.
- Hold for a few seconds.
- Repeat on opposite side for set amount of time.
2. Hip Extension - 30-40 seconds.
- Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Bring your heels in toward your bum. The closer to your bum your heels are, the more you will isolate the glutes. The further away your heels are, the more you will work your hamstrings.
- Drive through your heels and lift your hips up. Fully extend your hips and squeeze your glutes.
- Hold for a second or two at the top with your glutes and abs engaged and then lower back down and repeat.
3. RDL - 30-40 seconds each side.
- Stand with your back straight and shoulders pulled down and back.
- Arms should be extended down slightly in front of you; balance on one leg keeping the other leg straight and just slightly behind you.
- Keep the raised leg and torso in alignment, inhale driving the hips back slightly as you let your torso fall forward and the raised leg sweep back behind you.
- Keep the hips squared towards the floor and the back straight.
- Exhale contracting through the hamstrings and glutes bringing your torso back up and leg back down.
4. Wood Chop - 30-40 seconds each side.
- Adopt a stance with feet just over shoulder width apart.
- Engage abdominals by gently drawing in your tummy and pulling up your pelvic floor (the muscles you would use to stop yourself from peeing) with approximately 30% effort. Have knees slightly bent.
- Keeping hips still, initiate movement from the trunk, rotate both hands away and down to one side.
- Drive both arms diagonally up across your body until your hands are up towards the sky on the opposite side to where they started.
- Arms should remain straight throughout movement.
- Reverse movement until back into the start position.
5. Squat - 30-40 seconds.
- Stand with your feet parallel and a comfortable distance apart with your weight evenly distributed between your legs.
- Keeping your chest up, bend your knees then hips to lower your bum down towards the ground behind you.
- Go as low as you can with control. Ideally your hips should go below your knees.
- Then while keeping your heels on the ground push up to the start position.
6. Plank With Rotation - 30-40 seconds each side.
- Come down so that your elbows, knees and forearms are touching the floor.
- Engage your core by drawing your tummy in and pelvic floor up with 30% effort.
- Keep your bum down so your body is flat from your knees to your head.
- Reach one arm down and underneath you on the opposite side, keeping hips straight on to the floor then swing the arm up and out away from your body, reaching upwards towards the sky.
- Repeat for the set time on each side.
7. Hip Stretch to T Rotation - 30 seconds each side.
- Place one knee on the floor with the opposite foot in front of you, knee bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Place hands down on either side of the front foot and gently push hips forward.
- You will feel a stretch down the front of the hip on the back leg.
- Once you have your balance slowly rotate the same side arm as the front leg up and around towards the sky.
- Hold for a few seconds and then return to the start position, then repeat on the opposite side.