If you’re a runner, you know that sometimes muscles and joints feel sore, over-tired or just plain painful. Whether you’re training for your first marathon or just love logging miles on the reg, mixing in different workouts is really important. Complementary workouts prevent common running injuries and help you improve your speed and endurance. Yoga and weight training are awesome options for making sure you’re strong for those weekly long runs, but there are tons of other workouts to choose from. Some of these can be done before or after a run, and some work better as standalone sweat sessions. Keep reading for seven runner-friendly workouts you can do on your own — for free (yay!).
1. Hip Opening Yoga: Runners often complain about tight hips. Mobility is extra important for runners because of the ultra-repetitive movements of running, so committing to some kind of yoga practice at least once a week will keep you in tip-top running shape. If you’re feeling a little tension in your hip area, definitely check out this flow that’ll have you feeling back to normal in no time. (via Grokker)
2. The Ultimate 2016 Ab Workout: Another crucial muscle group for runners? Abs! Your core is the center of movement no matter what workout you’re doing, but a strong core can also help you breathe more efficiently and avoid lower back pain during runs. Trainer Cassey Ho is so peppy and energetic that this 13-minute mini-workout totally flies by. (via Blogilates)
3. Pre-Run Warmup Workout: If you’ve ever wondered how you should be warming up before a run, this video has the answer. Not only does it take you through an extremely thorough sequence, but it also explains why certain movements are important for various running concerns. Eventually, you can learn which exercises work best for you and do your own little warm-up before every run. (via Cyclone Fitness)
4. Bikini Kettle Band Workout: Strength training is extra important for runners, especially since after a certain point you can’t get faster without more muscle power. Building up strength in your arms, legs and glutes can be done really effectively with kettlebells and bands, and this workout makes trying out these pieces of equipment for the first time totally easy. (via Tone It Up)
5. The Only Five Stretches You Need: Stretching after a run can be confusing. You maybe kind of remember some stretches you did in your last studio class, but which ones are actually helpful and which ones can you do without? If you want to be efficient with your stretching time, this five-minute video is sure to help you out. (via Shape Magazine)
6. Total Body Cardio Burn: If you’re focusing on endurance, cross-training is a must, since you can’t run every single day (without making your knees scream), but need to keep your cardio activity up. HIIT and bootcamp-style workouts are awesome options, since they get you into that intense heart-rate zone quickly. Trainer Astrid Swan leads you through a workout that requires no equipment, but seriously tests your cardio chops. (via CosmoBody)
7. Quick Workout Cooldown: If you’re an avid runner, chances are you completed a long run today. Treat yourself to an actual cooldown, which will help your muscles recover faster. Trainer Natalie Jill takes you through a quick but effective dynamic stretching sequence that’ll end your workout (and start your weekend!) on a super positive note. (via Natalie Jill Fitness)
What do you do before and after your running workouts? Do you supplement with additional exercises? Tell us about it @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)