Running is incredibly humbling in the fact that it constantly reminds us not to focus all of our efforts in just one area. When we dedicate each run to speed training, increase our mileage too quickly, or fail to incorporate cross training, we usually wind up injured or burnt out. Whenever my mileage increases I am reminded how important it is to include workouts other than just running.
Especially leg workouts.
As my legs start feeling the wear and tear of the mileage, I find myself frantically searching for at home workouts to make up for lack of cross training.
Related: 14 Workouts Runners Will Love
Running alone can help our fitness progress leaps and bounds. Transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to a lifestyle that includes regular running will pay off to no end.
But once we’ve reached a relatively healthy point, our body starts to adapt to the activity and no longer progresses as quickly. These times are common for most runners, which is why cross training and strength training are so highly emphasized when training for a race.
Our legs adapt to the strain of running, and in order to continue to gain fitness and improve our running we are left needing to incorporate some leg exercises on a regular basis. (And I know from personal experience that if I want to stay motivated to complete any sort of cross training workout, I need it to be as simple as possible).
My favorite way to simplify is by completing at home, bodyweight workouts.
Getting off the couch to jump around while watching TV seems a lot more appealing than spending 20 minutes getting ready to leave for the gym. A leg workout is a workout no matter where you do it or what you use, so why not take advantage of our own bodyweight?
This leg workout for runners can easily be added to any training plan. Complete these leg exercises on tired legs after a run, incorporate them into your regular cross training day, or fit them in at home after dinner.
Adding these simple bodyweight leg exercises to your weekly running schedule will help you strengthen those running muscles, increase your power on the run, and reduce fatigue during long runs or speed workouts. Not to mention that strong lower body muscles help keep injuries at bay and ensure you stay healthy.
This bodyweight workout contains leg exercises that are ideal for runners. Targeting all the major muscle groups in just 20 minutes, this workout requires no equipment and very little time. This leg workout for runners will strengthen your quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, and hips all in less than half an hour. Plus, it will leave you shaking and sweaty without completing any cardio. Efficient workouts are my favorite!
20 Minute Bodyweight Leg Workout for Runners
30 forward lunges (alternating feet)
30 side lunges (alternating sides)
25 jump squats
30 clamshells (15 on each side)
20 jump lunges
40 donkey kicks
20 sumo squats
25 calf raises
15 high knees
15 rotating 180 degree squat jumps
26 walking lunges
15 split squats
15 tuck jumps
And there you have it! Whenever I complete all the leg exercises in this bodyweight workout my legs end up shaking like jello afterwards. That’s how I know I’ve had a successful workout!
Don’t get caught up in the trap of obsessively running without ever mixing it up. While running may be the most enjoyable activity, completing leg workouts like this one are what allow you to continue running healthy and strong. Strengthen your legs and improve your power on the run!
If you’re looking for the another challenge to mix things up, check out this bodyweight leg workout to really feel the burn!
More bodyweight workouts:
- The Ultimate Strength Workout for Runners
- 15 Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout
- 14 Workouts Runners Will Love
- 15 Minute Full Body Bodyweight Workout
- Lucky 7s Dumbbell Workout
- 15 Minute Complete Core Workout