Easy and effective resistance band exercises for runners, plus how to care for
Working out at home more than ever? Thanks to a dumbell shortage, it’s practically impossible to get weights right now. Luckily, strength training iwth resistance bands is an excellent way to boost your run training–in addition to putting in the miles.
Using a simple resistance band with the exercises below can help improve not only your speed, but your running form and efficiency. Resistance bands are also excellent if you are training while recovering from an injury. The muscles we’ll focus on for running are the glutes, core, back, and hip muscles.
Note: If you’re new to resistance bands, the thicker the band, the more resistance it will give you. You may want to start with a thinner band and work your way up.
This exercise is a perfect way to begin because it gets your heart rate going while it works your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Loop a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Do jumping jacks, but instead of lifting your arms above your head, lift them to shoulder height so that you’re forming a star shape. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds. Rest, then repeat.
Great for your hips and glutes, this exercise will help avoid aches and tightness in your buttocks that can hit you during a long run.
Wrap the resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Lean
slightly forward, as if you were about to go into a squat. Take several steps to one side and then the other, tightening the band each time you step out. Start with 15 steps on each side. Do 2 or 3 sets. Be sure that your knees are not pushing inward. Imagine you’re pushing them slightly out as you walk.
Note: If you do have knee concerns, you’ll find additional resources using resistance bands here.
Squats with Leg Lifts
Wrap the resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. Standing straight, as in the
side-stepping exercise, go down into a squat. When you come up, lift one leg out to the side.
Do this 20 times, then repeat, lifting the other leg. This exercise is excellent for your abductors.
Plank with Leg Lifts
Your core deserves a workout, too, especially as your core muscles are a vital element to
improving the efficiency of your running. This exercise also works your hips, glutes, and hamstrings.
Lie face down on a mat in plank position with your weight on your forearms, and the resistance
band looped around your ankles. While in plank, take turns lifting first one leg and then the other. Lift each leg till the band is taut, about 12 inches. Do this 10 times on each side.
This exercise isn’t as scary as it sounds! The monster walk works your hips and glutes, as well as
your entire lower body. Loop one band around your ankles, and another band just above your knees. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Make sure both bands are taut. Otherwise, it will be too easy (we wouldn’t
Bend your knees slightly and go into a very slight semi-squat, while stepping one foot out and diagonally to the side (about a 45-degree angle). Step the other foot out in the same way. Each step should be a ‘monster step’, in other words, as big as possible. Once you’ve walked about 20 steps forward, return to where you started by doing the same exercise backward.
Resistance Band FAQs
Can I get the same results with weights?
You can get similar results, but resistance bands are gentler on the joints. You’ll gain strength
without compromising on flexibility. Resistance bands have been proven to be just as impactful as dumbells to improve strength while engaging multiple muscle groups.
Can training with resistance bands help prevent injury?
Training with resistance bands helps you improve not only your strength but your overall
stability. Stability is essential to avoid injury.
Can I train all the same muscles with resistance bands?
You can use resistance bands to train all the muscles of the body that you would train with
Do resistance bands break easily?
Any resistance bands will weaken over time with normal wear and tear, but you can extend the
life of yours if you care for them properly. Avoid leaving them out in the sun or next to a heat
source (they can dry out and crack), or in too-cold temperatures for extended periods.
How do I clean my resistance bands?
Clean your bands by wiping them with a damp cloth. Do not use soap or detergents of any kind.
Enjoy your resistance band exercises for running!\
Guest Post by Sarah Peterson.