When you’re tight on time, there’s hardly anything more satisfying than completing a quick, efficient workout. Regardless of how consistent you are with your running, your progress will eventually plateau if you skip out on strength training and cross training.
Which is why I love this full body circuit workout so much.
Circuit training is a great source of cross training and strength training. Incorporating regular circuit workouts into your training plan helps runners of all ability levels gain strength, improve their running and stay injury free.
Related: 6 Habits for Runners to Avoid Injuries
This full body circuit workout targets just that – the entire body. The workout is comprised of three separate circuits, targeting the core, upper body and lower body. With just three exercises in each circuit, the workout moves fast and keeps your muscles burning the entire time.
Each exercise uses your own bodyweight to create resistance and help strengthen your muscles, so no equipment is required. This full body circuit workout is a great at home option for those busy days when driving to the gym sounds less than ideal.
This circuit workout is perfect for runners looking to mix up their cross training and fit in some strength training, and do so in a simple way. Try it out!
Full Body Circuit Workout for Runners
Circuit #1: Lower Body – Repeat x 3
Leg Raises x 20
Begin by lying flat on your back, with your hands at your sides and legs stretched straight out. Simply lift one leg to a 45 degree angle, keeping the leg straight the entire time. Lower back to the floor and repeat 20 times, then complete on the opposite side.
Jump Squats x 20
Start by standing with your feet about hip width distance apart. Bending at the knees, lower down as if you were about to sit in a chair. Continue until your quads and shins form a 90 degree angle at the knee.
Next, push off both feet to straighten your legs and jump in the air, landing back in an upright standing position.
Walking Lunges x 20
Return to standing with your feet about hip width distance apart, and take a large step forward with one foot. Bend at both knees, lowering your back knee towards the floor until your front quad and shin form a 90 degree angle at the knee.
Next, push off the floor with your back foot to swing your leg forward and take one large step, landing with the opposite foot in front. Repeat the lunge on the opposite leg and continue.
Circuit #2: Upper Body – Repeat x 3
Push Ups x 20
To begin, bring your body into a plank formation by placing your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders and extending your legs straight out behind you to balance on your toes. Be sure that your back is flat and hips do not arch.
Next, bend at the elbows to lower your upper body towards the floor. Maintain a straight plank position throughout this movement. Lower until your shoulders are a few inches above the floor, and then push back up to straight your arms and return to the original plank position.
Commandos x 12
Return to your straight arm plank position to begin this exercise. From a straight arm plank, lower down on to your elbows, on arm at a time.
Once you are in an elbow plank position, rise back up into a straight arm plank, straightening one arm at a time. Continue to repeat.
Tricep Dips x 20
For this exercise, you will need a raised surface that can support your weight (such as a chair, table, stair, etc). Standing with your back facing the chair (or other object), reach both arms behind you to plant your hands on the top, front edge of the chair.
Walk your feet out in front of you until your legs form an angle from your hips to ankles. Bending at the elbows, lower your upper body towards the floor, and then straighten to lift back up. Continue to repeat.
Circuit #3: Core – Repeat x 3
Plank with Taps x 20
Begin in an elbow plank position, facing the floor with your weight evenly distributed between your elbows and toes. Try to keep your body as straight as possible, with your back and hips in a straight line.
Continue to hold this plank, while extending one hand forward to tap the floor in front of you. Alternate hands throughout the plank, trying to minimize motion from side to side as much as possible.
Raised Leg Sit Ups x 16
You will need an elevated surface for this exercise as well, such as a chair or stair. Begin by lying flat on your back and resting your feet on the chair in front of you.
Place your hands behind your head, and use your core muscles to lift your upper body and complete a sit up. Slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor and repeat.
Legs Down x 20
Begin by lying flat on your back, with your arms down at your sides and legs stretched straight out. Using your core, lift both legs from the floor simultaneously.
Keep your legs straight throughout the movement, and lift your feet all the way into the air. Once your feet are directly above your head, lower your legs back down to the floor with control and repeat.
This circuit workout is a great option for runners of all ability levels, from beginners to advanced. These exercises are perfect for a weekly strength training routine and will help keep your body strong on the run.
Incorporate some full body circuit training into your weekly routine to strengthen your total body without ever heading to the gym. Complete this circuit workout after a run or on an off day for a simple way to enhance your weekly training plan.
More strength training options:
- Essential Strength Training Exercises for Runners
- Full Body Strength Training Pyramid Workout
- 30 Day Strength Training Challenge for Runners
- 14 Workouts that Runners Will Love