Hit-the-ground runner’s workout

In order to be a stronger, safer and better runner, sometimes the workouts that you need to focus on do not include any running at all. Because running is so repetitive in nature, you need to spend time developing muscle strength and improving muscle connective tissue to make you more stable and able to withstand step after step. And of course, with strength comes efficiency – a key to energy management.

The following strength endurance routine features a warm-up and three circuits, which will help you create integrated strength throughout your entire body – developing stability in your posterior chain, including the hips and glutes – as well as in the outer thighs. These moves will help you to have a solid line when your foot hits the ground as you run, so every step takes you closer to your PR.

You’ll need a heavy barbell, a medium medicine ball, a cable/resistance tube and a box.

Start with this brief mobilizing warm-up …


Crocodile Breathing

Prone Scaption

Half-Kneeling Overhead Reach

Staggered Stance with a Lateral Reach

Tip-toe Bodyweight Squats

Then move on to the circuit …

Strength Circuit

*Perform all exercises in each circuit/set, take a one-minute break, then move on to the next circuit. One time through all three circuits is a great place to start. As you get stronger, you can increase the volume, and in turn, increase your aerobic endurance – try to go through each circuit two or three times before resting and moving on to the next circuit.

Circuit 1Barbell Deadlift

Downward Dog

Lateral Lunge with Medicine Ball Front Raise

Step Ups


Circuit 2Staggered-stance Squats

Prone Planks

Posterior Lunge with Lateral Warding

Step Ups


Circuit 3Anterior Lunges with 1-Leg Hold

Side Plank

Upward Dog

Step Ups

With a more stabilized and stronger stance, you’re fit to run like the wind!

This workout is modeled by Kyla Dickerson and Natania Goldberg, who are both area group fitness managers for 24 Hour Fitness in Southern California.