Improve your running at home with a simple workout
I’ve got a run workout at home for you today. It’s fairly simple- anyone can do it! In fact, it couldn’t be simpler. It’s something that you can do any time you’re standing up!
To strengthen your core and thus improve your running, one simple thing that can help is just standing on one leg.
Left leg, right leg, alternate between the two- just stand one one leg whenever you’re standing in one spot. Let’s talk about why it works.
Let’s work through the drill.
First, it’s important to remember good posture. Stand with your feet shoulder width, firmly planted. Lift one leg, bend your knee, and keep your foot and knee in line with your hip. Stand tall with good posture; this is what we call a running position.
Remember, it is important to turn your feet in a circle, but right now we’re focusing on the planted leg.
When we run, we’re really alternating between this position from one leg to another, quickly. So it’s important to get comfortable in this position.
Often, when we look at bad running form, we see this position breaking down. Bending at the waist, hips swinging out- that’s what we don’t like to see. Get strong in this position.
Remember, when we’re running, we’re looking at our body forming a straight line. When our core and our gluteus medius are weak, our hips and knees can swing out of alignment. We don’t want this to happen- keep our form in a straight line for maximum efficiency and minimal strain.
By working our core, and drilling on these simple mechanics of running, we can improve our overall running strength and form. Activating the muscles of running frequently are going to help us in the long run.
Stepping it up
Let’s make things a little more interesting. Add on these progressions only if you feel that you are rock solid standing on one leg for an extended period of time. If you’re wobbling, or you feel unsteady and weak, spend some more time strength training and focusing on the simple drill of one legged standing.
The first thing you can do to add some difficulty is to add running arms. This helps emulate the running motion and trains our arms to move in an ideal path.
Remember, arms should be at 90-degree angles, in line with your shoulders. Move them back and forth without crossing your chest center line. Swing from the shoulder, not swinging the shoulders.
Next, try adding in a run stroke with your opposite leg. I linked to one of our videos above about circular running- it’s vital to good run form!
I’ve covered it in more detail in that video, but let’s refresh the basics. Bring your leg straight down, strike the ground briefly, then bring your leg back up quickly to the starting position and repeat. Focus on not over-extending, and train your body in that motion.
Drill for success
If you repeat this drill often at home, this will absolutely improve your running. It’s important to find drills to focus on specific areas of you need improvement (and this is where a coach can help). However, this is one suggestion that will improve the core strength and muscle memory for any runner. We recommend it to all our athletes!