It shouldn’t take a pandemic to get us all thinking about how best to work out at home, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, that’s what happened. Purchases of home gym equipment like kettlebells, mats and treadmills soared as many desperately sought ways to stay fit during the lockdown. Here we look at the best home workouts for runners that you should consider including, lockdown or no lockdown.
Pilates gets you stronger and makes you a more robust, flexible and mobile runner. This workout benefits runners in a number of ways, not least in the fight against injury, and the great thing is that you need very little space and minimal equipment to do it. We like this YouTube video from Lottie Murphy that takes you through a 15 minute Pilates workout targeting core, glutes and stretching. All you need for this one is a mat and something to watch on.
Runners have raved for a long time about the benefits of Yoga. Like Pilates, Yoga can be done at home with little equipment and minimal space, so you don’t need to sign up to a class if you can’t fit in the time or are conserving cash. Yoga creates strength and flexibility through flowing movements that work you in a way no other form of exercise can match. It’s also great for relaxation, wellbeing and an excellent way to switch off. Check out brilliant British female marathon runner Lily Partridge’s lower leg and hip warm up routine on Athletes for Yoga and see if you can add it to your home routine.
You really don’t need the gym to get strong. Honestly. Resistance bands like those in our article on best presents for runners are a must have for every home workout hero wishing to get strong. These bands come in a range of strengths and sizes and, you’ve guessed it, create resistance when you perform a movement. You can do everything from lower body work to targeting painful knees and strengthening glutes, to making shoulders stronger and building biceps. Get some inspiration from North Face runner Vlad Ixel who has a series of YouTube resistance band workouts for runners.
Bodyweight workouts are an underrated secret weapon for a runner. You expect your legs to carry and propel you through every step of your run, but are you training them to cope with your weight in such a dynamic way? You don’t need any equipment for a bodyweight workout, and it can be done in your living room as well as outdoors. Design a circuit for yourself that includes exercises such as clams and squats to target hips, press ups and pull ups for your upper body, and planks and twists that challenge the core. If you’d rather follow a video, look at The Running Channel for some great ideas like this living room workout.
The main bonus of kettlebells is that they shouldn’t take up a lot of space or storage in your home or garage. Investing in a good and suitably heavy kettlebell opens the door to a new way of working out that gets the heart rate up and makes you stronger. Performing moves with a kettlebell a few times a week can tone and strengthen the muscles you rely on for running such as glutes, quads and calves as well as the upper body. Check out this great four step routine from athlete Ben Parkes that makes you stronger and reduces your risk of injury.