Best Exercises to Compliment Running

Author: Justine Cosman, PT, DPT, OCS : Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions and helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and then some. Loves empowering others, seeking adventure, and learning every day. Learn more about Justine on Google+.

Running is great - it improves your cardio by getting your blood pumping, increases your energy and can improve your strength and endurance. But let's be honest, it doesn't always give your body everything it needs in terms of exercise. Here are a few exercises that can boost your running and target a few areas that may be missed.

Single Limb Bridge

This is by far one of the best combo glute exercises. It targets your gluteus maximus (the largest glute making up the most of the buttock that helps push you forwards in running) and the gluteus medius (the one that stabilizes your pelvis/trunk from the side when you are on one limb - i.e. running). All too often, I see runners who are "quad" dominant and not taking advantage of their buttock muscles. This can help.

Start on your back with one leg bent and other leg straight - Flatten your back against the surface while lightly engaging your core - Pressing through your bent knee's foot, lift up into a bridge, maintaining a neutral low back, maintaining a level pelvis - Then slowly lower back to the floor

Front Planks and Side Planks

These are classic stabilization exercises that target multiple areas of the body, including your core, glutes, pecs and triceps. Running loads your legs, but not your arms. If you are limited on time, these can be a quick way to fatigue and strengthen multiple areas of your body.

Goblet Squat

Again, I like the reinforce the glutes while working other areas of the body, including the core and upper body. Furthermore, this exercise helps to prep the knees take on more repetitive load, which can reduce possible joint pain. Put all these exercises together in a rapid cycle can also bring some cardio into your training.

Have feet slightly wider than hips distance apart - Hold weight at chest level (you can also use a kettle bell) - Keeping your feet flat on the ground, squat deeply, maintaining the weight in the same location - Then return to standing



Please be aware that these exercises are not for everyone. Should you feel pain or discomfort while performing these, stop. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns regarding your training.