How to Be a Stronger Runner in 8 Easy Steps

You know that to be a runner, you’ve got to, well, run. Many think that’s enough, but if you want to be a strong runner, incorporating other exercises into your routine is a must. That’s where this workout, created by Stephen Cheuk, founder of S10 training and S10 recovery in New York City and Health Advisory Board member, comes in. “This routine has an emphasis on balance and joint mobility and will help you become a stronger, more mobile, and more efficient runner,” says Cheuk. So go on, give it a try—your runs and your body will be better for it.

Banded hip flexor stretch 

Attach a medium resistance band to a sturdy object, such as a squat rack. Step the left leg into the band, allowing it to rest where your butt and hamstring meet, and then step the left foot far enough back so that the band is taut (A). Keeping your back straight, lower into a lunge as you raise arms (B). Push into left foot to return to start; repeat.

Hip cars (controlled articular rotations)

Start on all fours with hands underneath shoulders, knees underneath hips, and core tight. Bring right knee forward (A), and then rotate it out to the side so that thigh is parallel to the floor (B). Continue rotating until your knee is pointing down and your foot, flexed, is up (C); return to start. This is one rep. After desired reps, reverse motion.

Ankle rotations

Sit tall on a step or bench with left ankle over right knee, or to more mimic running, pull knee into chest with foot facing ground. Rotate ankle and foot clockwise (A, B, C), until you return to start. This is one rep. After reps, reverse direction.

Single leg box squats

Stand tall with your back facing a bench or step, a slight bend in knees, and hands out in front of chest; lift right foot, extending right leg out in front of you (A). Slowly lower down to bench (B). Keeping torso upright, immediately push through left foot to return to standing; repeat.

Single leg Romanian deadlifts

Stand tall with a 10-pound dumbbell in left hand, and lift left foot off the ground (A). With back flat and abs tight, hinge at the hips, lowering the weight down, allowing the left leg to float up behind you (B). Once the weight reaches mid shin, push through the right heel to return upright; repeat.

Weighted Bulgarian split squats

With the end of a 10-pound dumbbell clasped between hands and in front of chest like a goblet, stand a couple of feet in front of a step or bench. Extend right leg back, placing your foot on the step (A). Bend knees, and, while keeping shoulders down and back, lower down until right knee is hovering over the ground (B). Pause, and then press through left heel to return to start; repeat.

Barbell hip thrusters

Sit on the floor with your shoulders against a bench, your spine neutral, and a barbell— loaded or unloaded—directly over your hips (A). Brace your core as you drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to lift hips (B). Lower hips back down; repeat.

Standing resistance band core pushes

Loop a medium resistance band around a stable structure, like a squat rack. Stand with the left side of the body to the rack. Grab band with hands, holding it at chest height. Take a few lateral steps away from the rack, until band is taut (A). With a slight bend in knees and core tight, extend arms straight out (B); pull them back in. This is one rep; repeat.

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