3 Exercises to Make You a Better Runner

Man running on beach
Randi Berez

Even if their goal isn’t getting huge, runners often make the mistake of doing no lifting at all. (And as big-time endurance guys like Dean Karnazes will tell you, that’s not only wrong—it’s just plain dumb.) With these three exercises, combined with Pose training, you’ll be running farther, and safer, than ever before.



Box Jump

Place in front of you a box that’s high enough to make it somewhat challenging to jump up onto. Quickly bend your hips and knees and swing your arms back to gather momentum, then jump up onto the box. Land softly in the center of the box with hips and knees bent. Step off. That’s one rep. Perform three sets of 5 reps

Goblet Squat

Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell by one of the bell ends with both hands under your chin. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out at about 30 degrees. Take a deep breath and bend your hips back and lower into the squat, pushing your knees out and keeping your lower back in its natural arch. Squeeze your glutes as you come back up. Perform three sets of 8–12 reps.

The goblet squat allows you to perform a deep squat with little risk of injury to the lower back. Squatting develops your entire lower body and is arguably the best exercise for building running speed.

Man lunging on beach
Randi Berez

Walking Lunges

There’s no weight-training exercise more sport-specific to running than a walking lunge. It trains your body both to accelerate forward and decelerate, controlling the body’s momentum. It builds balance and coordination in addition to strength.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand with feet at hip width. Step forward and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Come up and immediately step forward with the opposite leg. Do three sets of 10–12 per leg.

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