7 Best Strength Exercises for Running

You may know that strength training is a great workout for your muscles and bones, but did you know it can also boost running performance?

Whether you use free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or your body weight, resistance training creates strong, powerful muscles capable of producing more force with less effort. An advantage of this is improved running economy, or how much energy you have to use to sustain your pace, per research. Or put more simply, more strength means better running performance.

In one review and meta-analysis, middle and long-distance runners saw significant improvements in running economy after strength training at least twice a week for 8 to 12 weeks. The strength routines varied between studies but included lifting heavy loads (85 percent of one-repetition maximum, or the maximum weight lifted for a single rep), low and moderate loads (40 to 70 percent of one-rep max), and performing bodyweight plyometric (jump) exercises.

Strength training also tends to help with running form, which can help safeguard your body against overuse injury in typical hot spots like the knee, shin, ankle, or foot.

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