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8 Basic Running Exercises

16 Dec 2011

If you want to join the 50 million Americans that enjoy running, where do you start? You’ll need both a running program and complementary resistance program.

For running, the Couch-to-5k program is a progressive and overall sound one. Couch-to-5k has a great following with more than 260,000 Facebook fans. Their active wall can help keep you motivated by fellow Couch-to-5k runners!

This program is designed for walking/jogging three times a week and will take you about 30 minutes per session. Be sure to make time for it in your calendar!

Now that you have a good start-up running program, you should also complete other exercises that will complement your running program. The eight exercises listed below are good for beginners.

These eight basic exercises will help you establish a foundation for lower body endurance and core stabilization & strength. Aim to complete twice a week on your off-days from running.

Be sure to warm-up with 5 minutes of aerobic or cardiorespiratory activity like walking/jogging.

When you get to the core and resistance training exercises, rest minimally between each one. Give yourself just enough time to set up for the next exercise.

All these exercises can be completed at home with minimal equipment. You’ll need:

Medicine Ball (MB)

Dumbbells (DB)

Tubing with Doorjamb Attachment


5 minutes cardio

Core Exercises
Do 2x each
1. Plank Hold, 60s hold
(Start) Lie face down on a mat with forearms flat.

(Move) Squeeze your abs and glutes and lift so that only your forearms and toes are on the mat. Hold for up to 60 seconds. Start with a 20-second hold.

2. Floor Bridges, 10-12 reps
(Start) Lie with your back on the mat, hands by your side. Squeeze your abs and glutes.

(Move)Lift your butt and back off the ground and hold for one second. Return to mat and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Resistance Training Exercises
Do each for two sets
3. Single Leg Squats, 8-10 reps per leg
(Start) Balance on your right leg. Be sure to squeeze your abs and glubes (engage the core) to keep your balance.

(Move) Bend your right knee and lower your glutes towards the ground. Hold for one second. Repeat for 8-10 reps total. Switch legs and repeat.

4. MB Shoulder Press, use 6-12 lb MB, 10-15 reps
(Start) Stand tall, holding a medicine ball in front of you at shoulder height height with your elbows bent.

(Move) Lift the medicine ball overhead by extending your arms. Hold for one second. Return to start. Repeat for 10-15 reps total.

5. Rows with Tubing (medium-heavy resistance), 10-15 reps
Attach tubing to doorjamb.

(Start) Hold onto tubing handles facing door jamb and step away until tubing is taut. Your arms should be extended in front of you at chest height and feet in a staggered stance.

(Move) Perform a row by bending your elbows and pulling handles in towards your rib cage. Repeat for a total of 10-15 reps.

6. Push Ups, 8-12 reps
Start with knees or hands on bench or other elevated surface.

7. Forward lunges with hammer curls, 10-12 reps
(Start) Stand tall and hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing in.

(Move) Take a big step forward with your right leg to complete a lunge. While in lunge, bend your elbows to curl the dumbbells to shoulder height. Straighten out your arms and return to start by pushing off your right heel. Repeat for 10-12 reps total.

8. Elbows in Chest Press with tubing (light-medium resistance), 10-15 reps
(Start) Hold onto tubing facing away from the doorjamb attachment. Step forward into a staggered stance until the tubing is taut, elbows tucked in by your sides.

(Move) Extend your arms forward in front of you and raise to chest height. Return to start and repeat for 10-15 reps total.

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