The 10 Best Calisthenics for Runners

Workout fads always come and go, but one of my favorite parts of running is that it always remains unchanged. The simplicity of heading out the door in running shoes is what helps our sport remain so timeless.

But in the face of the ever-changing fitness industry, even runners can’t avoid hearing new suggestions and improvements.

Related: 15 Amazing Reasons to Run

We should run before we eat … no, after.

Strength training means lifting heavy weights at the gym … no, just some squats at home.

Bulk up on protein every day … no, actually just eat carbs before a run.

Make sure to stretch before a run … no, save static stretching for the end.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Although running remains unchanged, we are constantly surrounded by new suggestions, “rules” and improvements for our sport. These trends come and go, always claiming to improve our running in one way or another. Some stick around while others quickly fade.

One of the more recent trends we’ve heard about: calisthenics for runners.

What are calisthenics?

Calisthenics is really a fancy way of describing a bodyweight workout. The term itself is relatively new, but has recently taken off in popularity. While most runners steer clear of new fitness fads, this one may actually be worth looking into.

Related: 20 Minute Bodyweight Leg Workout for Runners

Lucky for us, calisthenics are something we have probably already been including into our training plans.

Calisthenic exercises involve no extra equipment, and work your muscles through the use of your own bodyweight for resistance. These exercises can involve any sort of body movement – from jumping, sweat inducing cardio, to static holds.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Mixing calisthenics and running has many benefits.

Incorporating calisthenics as a runner can actually greatly improve your running endurance, stamina, power, and strength. Calisthenics workouts are a great way to strength train, fit in some cross training, and remain injury free on the run.

Using calisthenics to improve running is actually quite simple.

Dedicate some time each week to incorporate a few simple calisthenics exercises into your routine. Complete some exercises after each run, or group them all together for a full body workout.

Related: 4 Week Full Body Workout Plan

You can create some sort of cardio workout using calisthenic exercises that involve a great deal of movement, or improve your strength and avoid breaking a sweat with some static strengthening.

No matter what you choose, incorporating any form of calisthenics into your training plan will definitely pay off. Here are the 10 best calisthenics for runners to start with.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training. #calisthenics #calisthenicsexercises #calisthenicsroutine

The Best 10 Calisthenics for Runners

Squats

As a timeless exercise for runners, squats really target the quads and glutes to bring power to our stride. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and sit back as if in a chair, bending your knees and lowering your glutes towards the floor. The goal is to get your quads as close to parallel with the floor as possible.

Keep your arms down at your sides, or extend them straight out in front of you for an added challenge.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-50 reps.

Bridges

Some of the biggest problem areas for runners are the glutes and hips, and bridges target both of these areas.

Lie on your back on the floor and plant the bottom of your feet on the floor, bending your knees. From this position, raise your hips and glutes off the floor, forming a straight plank. Lower back to the floor and repeat.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-50 reps.

Single Leg Bridges

This exercise takes the standard bridge to an entirely different level. The single leg bridges intensifies the exercise by isolating one side at a time.

Bring your body back to a bridge position, but this time lift on leg off the ground, extending it straight out in front of you. Lower your hips and glutes back down to the floor while one leg remains elevated. Repeat.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 5-20 reps on each side.

Jump Lunges

Plyometric exercises add a great deal of resistance to any standard strength training exercise. Jump lunges have all the benefits of a regular, walking lunge – plus some. Jumping between each lunge brings the element of balance to the exercise, working extra stabilizing muscles between each rep.

Begin by standing with two feet together, and then move one foot forward, in front of the other by about two feet. From this position, lower your back knee towards the floor until your front quad becomes parallel with the floor. Push off from both feet to jump in the air, and while doing so, switch legs (so the opposite one is in front).

After landing with both feet on the floor, lower into the lunge position with the opposite leg in front.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-30 reps on each side.

Planks

Arguably one of the most efficient core exercises out there, planks work your entire mid section – upper, lower, middle and back. Planks are essential calisthenics for runners.

Begin lying face down on the floor, and then bring yourself up onto your elbows and toes. Your body should remain straight, as if it is a plank of wood. Be careful not to let your hips sag or your back arch during the exercise.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to hold the plank between 30-90 seconds at a time.

Leg Lifts

As another exercise that targets the hips, leg lifts are a great way to strengthen those running weaknesses.

Begin by lying on your back on the floor with your legs extended straight out. Raise your right leg off the floor, keeping it straight. Lower your leg to the floor and repeat, making sure to keep your hips level.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-30 reps on each leg.

Tricep Dips

It’s easy to forget about the arms as a runner, but they play an important role in our stride – especially when we get tired. Tricep dips are great calisthenics exercises for runners to gain some arm strength.

Find a chair, table or another elevated surface a few feet off the ground. Walk your feet out in front of the chair and reach down behind you to place your hands on the front edge of the chair. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the elbows to lower your body closer to the ground, and then straighten back to your original position.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-50 reps.

Single Leg Toe Touch

This exercise takes a squat to the next level. The single leg toe touch isolates one side of the body at a time, adding emphasis on the glutes.

Begin by standing with two feet next to one another. Lift one foot from the floor, extending the leg straight out in front of you. While keeping this leg elevated, bend your grounded leg and try to touch the toe of your grounded foot. Straighten your leg to return to standing with one leg elevated.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 5-20 reps on each side.

Clamshells

While this exercise doesn’t involve a great deal of sweat, it will still make you feel the burn. Adding clamshells to your calisthenics workout brings an extra emphasis to the glutes and hips.

Lie on the floor on one side of your body, propping yourself up with an elbow. Stack your knees and feet, and then bend the knees to bring your feet in closer to your body. Lift the top knee up into the air while keeping your feet stacked on top of one another. Lower back down, and repeat.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-40 reps on each side.

Donkey Kicks

One final calisthenics exercise for runners is the donkey kick. Donkey kicks isolate each glute muscle, strengthening these powerful muscles one at a time.

Begin on your hands and knees. Keeping your knee bent, raise one knee into the air as if you were trying to make a footprint on the sky. Lower your knee back to the floor and repeat.

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training.

Aim to complete between 10-50 reps on each side.

Mixing calisthenics and running is a great way to prevent injuries and continue to gain strength, even as mileage increases. These calisthenics exercises will improve your running by strengthening weaker muscles, preventing muscle imbalances and increasing strength in areas that are often inactive.

More exercises for runners:

Have you ever wondering what calisthenics really are (and if you should be doing them)? I know I did! Completing calisthenics exercises is an easy way to fit in an amazing full body workout right at home. This simple calisthenics workout routine is great for beginners and athletes looking to gain strength with their cross training. #calisthenics #calisthenicsexercises #calisthenicsroutine

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