The 5 best gym exercises for runners

Quiet endurance run, speed or interval training, driving game or the long run on Sunday morning:

Runners love a lot of things.

Strength training in the gym is not one of them.

Because instead of doing strength and stability training, a short 10 is preferred.

The right strength training can enormously increase your running performance. With special strength training for runners, you can:

  • reduce the risk of injury
  • getting faster
  • run longer

Of course, you can also do the runners’ strength training at home.

In the gym, however, there are many excellent options for supplementary strength training: You have more equipment and more weights to choose from. In addition, you can make strength training in the gym much more varied than at home.

Are you lacking a plan of which gym exercises are the most effective?

Don’t worry: In this article I will show you which 5 strength exercises should not be missing in any training plan!

Train your core muscles separately

No matter whether short, medium or long distance – strength training is a critical success factor for every runner.

But be careful!

Instead of focusing on building muscles in the legs, you should develop a training plan that addresses all relevant muscle groups.

This approach particularly includes strengthening the core of the body: Because core training specifically strengthens the muscles in the center of your body. So the back, abdominal and hip muscles.

A strong core not only improves your body stability, but also ensures that the energy reaches the locomotor muscles as efficiently as possible.

Because the torso is the transition point for all human movements: A poorly defined body center leads to other parts of the body, e.g. B. have to support the spine, joints or ligaments in stabilizing the body.

Not only is energy lost in the process – the helping parts of the body are also put under enormous strain. As a runner, you should therefore invest time in a specific core workout.

This is the only way to start the next competition with a great advantage.


Probably the best exercise for runners!

Done correctly, the deadlift is the most effective exercise for the lower back extensor muscles, glutes, hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings, and shoulder muscles.

But beware!

The execution of the exercise is extremely complex and should therefore be practiced for the first time under the supervision of a trainer and without weights.

Once you master the technique, you can increase the weight. Otherwise there is an increased risk of injury!


Stand hip-width apart and crouch down. However, first stretch your buttocks backwards – as if you were slowly sitting on an imaginary chair. Important: During the entire exercise, the back remains slightly arched. Your head forms the extension of your spine. The gaze is fixed straight ahead. Make sure that your abdominal muscles are tight!

Now you grasp the barbell a little more than shoulder width. Your elbows shouldn’t hit your knees during this exercise. When straightening up, the barbell is now brought as close as possible to your shins. The strength comes from the legs and lower back muscles. The execution takes place evenly, slowly and without momentum.


The squat is a complex exercise that trains the back extensors in addition to the thighs (front and back) and buttocks.


In the starting position, your feet are shoulder width apart, with the toes pointing slightly outwards.

Now push your buttocks back and bend your knees at the same time. As soon as you can no longer crouch down without arching your lower back, straighten your body again.

Side lunge with kettlebell

Strong abductors will make you a better runner!

Because the abductors are not only responsible for spreading your leg, but also for stabilizing your pelvis. The training of the abductors should therefore not be neglected in the strength workout.


Stand hip-width apart. Now take a step to the right with your toes pointing forward and your feet flat on the floor.

Squat over your right hip as low as possible. The left leg remains straight.

Now push yourself back to the starting position and repeat the movement on the other side.

Lunge with kettlebells

Your hamstrings are already being used by the deadlift and the squat. However, this muscle group is so important for runners that it should be trained more specifically.

Instead of using kettlebells, you can also do this exercise with dumbbells.


Take the kettlebells in each hand and stand upright, hip-width apart. Your back is straightened, your abdominal muscles are tense, your gaze is directed forward.

Take a big step forward now. Your front leg forms a right angle between your thigh and lower leg. Make sure that your knee is behind or level with the tip of your foot.

Then push yourself back to the starting position with your upper body over the front leg. Repeat these exercises with the other leg.

Lateral torso bend with kettlebell

A strong core not only looks good, it also improves your running performance.

The torso or core muscles include the posture-relevant muscles that have an influence on the skeleton and thus on the stability of standing and walking.

The abdominal muscles in particular help you maintain an upright posture and distribute the balance load from your legs to your body.

The stronger your torso, the longer you will maintain your mileage.


Stand shoulder width apart. You hold a kettlebell in one hand – alternatively you can also use a dumbbell or a weight plate. Make sure to keep the tension in your abs.

Now slowly bend your upper body to the side by lowering the weight in your hand in a controlled manner.

In this exercise, your upper body only moves to the side – not forwards and not backwards!

As soon as the weight is approximately at the level of your knee, straighten your upper body again.

Strength training makes the difference between victory and defeat

Whether you do your strength training at home or sign up for a gym, you should find time for strength and stabilization training at least twice a week.

Because strong muscles also mean more stamina when running – it will be much easier for you.

A neglected strength and stability workout will come to your feet in the next competition at the latest:

If the muscles burn and cramp shortly before the goal and you are only seconds away from your new personal best, you will regret having done too little to build muscle.

So, what are you waiting for?

Skip one of your easy running sessions and instead invest the time in special strength training for runners!