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The Best Post-Run Workout for Runners : Improve Strength and Recovery


The end of a run is the perfect time to strengthen those muscles that got a good workout. Many runners find working out both beneficial and necessary. In addition to making your muscles more resilient, a post-run workout can also help you burn more fat and improve running form for a more efficient stride.

However, if you are a runner who is training for a long-distance race, it’s important to know the different exercises in order to create a program that can help you perform at your best on race day.

This article will walk you through different exercises for runners so that you can build a training program to keep you strong throughout your distance-running journey.

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Why Training Exercises Matter for Runners

According to a research published by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, Training exercises help runners with injury prevention, balance, and improved performance and is beneficial for runners of all abilities and ages.

Strength training for runners has grown in popularity in recent years. It can be beneficial for both professional and amateur runners, as well as those who are new to running or who have been sidelined by injury.

As more people learn about the benefits of strength training for runners they are incorporating it into their fitness routines with great success. We’ve listed a few more benefits below:

Run Faster

Resistance training provides stress to your body which causes it to adapt.  This adaptation can help you run more efficiently and with less difficulty.

So, if your leg muscles get stronger, you can produce more pressure with each stride and cover greater distances per foot strike. Similarly, strong shoulders and arms allow you to maintain better form while increasing your speed.

Fix Muscle Imbalances

Running is a one-directional activity. This means it doesn’t work out all the muscles in your body equally, so muscle imbalances can develop, leading to miles of discomfort or worse, injuries. Because running lacks efficiency & economy when compared to other endurance activities, this increases injury risks while also limiting performance.

A recent medical study has shown that issues like shin splints, knee-pain, and Achilles tendinitis are often caused by muscle imbalances. So, the good news is, as little as six weeks of weight training can reduce or completely alleviate knee pain. It has been demonstrated by a study.

Burns Calories

Increasing lean muscle mass will help you burn more calories, thus allowing you to attain weight loss goals.

Build Strong Bones

A lot of people don’t realize how beneficial weight training is for you. It helps prevent injury, improve running performance, build muscle AND improve bone density!

But how does training exercises make bones stronger? It’s really simple. Stressing your bones is an efficient way for gaining strength which can increase bone density. This will then help to reduce the risks of any long-term bone problems you may have.

Stronger Arms

We pump our arms as we run, and the stronger our arms are, the more powerful the forward drive. The faster we move forward.

Improved Core

What are the Best Exercises for Runners?

Exercises for runners are the best way to increase stamina, strength, and endurance. They are also effective in preventing injuries.

The running exercises for beginners should not just be about running itself. It should be about the whole workout routine which includes warm-ups, stretching, cool-downs, correct form etc.

Here are basic exercise classifications:

#1 – Speed Drill

The purpose of these drills is to provide an opportunity to practice acceleration, deceleration, and maximum speed. You can do this by running seven or eight sprints at the end of a workout.

The best way to find your sprinting speed is with a track drill. This drill starts with one length at full-speed, then slows down for one length, and accelerates for another full-length. Then repeat this pattern five times.

#2 – Core Strength Training

Core strength training is important for runners. The core stabilizes the body and allows it to move more efficiently.

The core also helps with balance, with breathing, and with posture.

If you are looking for ways to improve your running performance through core strengthening, there are 2 exercises that I recommend you try: plank pose and birddog pose.

#3 – Dynamic Flexibility Drills

Flexibility is the measure of the range of movement within a joint. It is important for runners because it allows them to move through space with less resistance.

There are many ways that dynamic flexibility drills can be used in order to increase the range of motion in joints. One simple way is to work on different muscles in your body by doing dynamic stretches, which means that you use momentum and fast movements to stretch your muscles.

This exercise can be done while running on a treadmill or while sitting down with a chair behind you for support.

#Workouts for Runners to Improve Strength and Recovery

  • Planks are one of the best exercises for your core, lower back & shoulders because they target all of these muscle groups.
    • Lie on your stomach
    • Prop yourself up on an elbow with your feet a little bit further away from each other and the toes lined up with your hips. Your shoulders should be above your elbows.
    • Straighten your whole body forming a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
    • Hold the position for 30 seconds to a full minute.
  • Russian twist targets multiple muscles, including your abs, obliques, lower back and hamstrings. You can also use a medicine ball or a plate as an extra resistance.
    • Grab a weight, then lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
    • Hold the weight in front of your body while keeping your back straight.
    • Twisting your torso as far as you can to the right side, then tap the weight on the floor, then reverse your motion to the other side.
  • Overhead Lunges targets the entire body
    • Begin standing with one foot in front of the other.
    • Take a large step back with your front leg, keeping your back straight.
    • Bend your arms until your upper body is parallel to the ground.
    • Step back with your front leg and return to standing, keeping your back straight throughout the movement.
    • Alternate legs when lunging in this manner.
  • Single-leg deadlifts are a great way to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings on one side of the body.
    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, about an arms length in front of a raised object, such as a chair or bench. The object should be high enough so that when you bend down to grab it, your back is parallel to the floor.
    • Bend your right knee and shift your weight onto your left foot while bending over to grasp the object with both hands using an overhand grip.
    • Keep your shoulders square with hips, chest up, and spine in neutral alignment throughout movement.
    • Hold this position for two seconds before returning to starting position then repeat on other side
  • Air squats are a great exercise to perform to build your quad muscles. It also strengthens your core and improves coordination.
    • To do an air squat, start with your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outwards.
    • Sit back like you’re sitting in a chair, bending only at the knees. Your knees should not go over your toes during this exercise.
    • Stand up again, making sure you use the same technique as before to avoid injury.
  • Pistol squats are a great exercise if you want to increase your leg strength and overall fitness.
    • Start by standing up straight with your toes pointing forward and your hands on your hips.
    • Next, bend at the knees and lower yourself down as if you were going to sit in a chair. Make sure that your knees do not go past the toes or past the front of your hips
    • Return to a standing position by pushing off from the floor with both feet and returning fully upright with straight legs.
  • Rotational shoulder press is a great exercise to develop shoulders, chest, and triceps. It also helps to increase shoulder mobility. This is a simple exercise but needs some skills for it to be done correctly. 
    • Find an area that you have space for your exercises and put down some towels or mats to protect the floor from sweat and possible spills of water or other liquids. This will also give you some traction when you are performing the rotational 
    • Sit on a chair or bench in front of an empty space where you can stand up straight and use your free arm to hold onto something for balance

Advanced Tips For Expert Runners

When a person lifts weights and becomes stronger, it’s a good idea to stay on top of things so they don’t lose those gains. There are some effective strategies to do this:

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a method of training in which a person alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises.

In circuit training, the athlete moves from one exercise to the next with little break in between. Circuit workouts are designed to maximize the benefits of strength and cardiovascular training.

There are a lot of different ways to do circuit training. But in a typical circuit training session, you’ll move from one exercise to the next with little-to-no rest in between.


  • 3 sets of 10 squats
  • 3 sets of 10 push ups
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 burpees
  • 20 forward lunges
  • 30 sec plank

The basics of circuit training is that you’re working hard through the entire workout because there’s no time for your body to recover before it’s time for your next set. To do this properly, you’ll need to keep yourself mentally focused and motivated by pumping yourself up or listening to music that gets you excited about your workout.

Use Free Weights

Studies show that free weights are more effective for building muscle strength and development than weight machines.

Progressive overload

Progressive overload is often described as the gradual increase in the stress placed on the body, and its corresponding adaptations. Essentially, progressive overload means that there is always a need to push your body more than it has been before.

When we look at progressive overload from a strength-building perspective, there are two very important points to consider:

1) Progressive overload must be “progressive” in order for it to be effective. That means that you need to keep progressively increasing or else your muscles will not adapt and get stronger with time.

2) Progressive overload is going to be different for everyone because everyone’s bodies are different and respond differently. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to progressive overloading muscles.

Drop Set

Drop Sets is a strength training technique where you do a lot of low weight and high reps with the same exercise.

There are many benefits to this kind of training. One of them is that it allows you to lift more weight than just doing one set. It also trains the muscles at different lengths and time periods than other exercises which means that you will be able to work them harder than if they just did one set.

Meet Your Protein Requirements

If you’re trying to build muscle, you need to be meeting your protein requirements. In order to do this, you need to be getting the right amount of protein every day. It’s not as simple as just eating a bunch of meat or going after a high-protein diet. You have to be careful about how much and what kind of food you eat.

There are a number of different ways that you can meet your protein intake goal for the day, but it is important that you keep in mind that it will have an effect on what other foods you can eat for the day.

In order to meet your protein requirements when strength training, there are a few steps that must be taken by adjusting one’s diet and intake levels. First off, it is important that one meets their

Rest And Recovery

Scheduling recovery is very important in strength training. After a hard training, the muscles need time to rest and recover in order to get stronger. Athletes and trainers use some techniques like light exercise, muscle relaxation and stretching.

Strength exercises needs some time for recovery and not all exercises can be done on the same day. It’s very important to plan wisely how many sets, reps and exercises you will do during the day so that your body has time to recover from heavy workout.


There you go! We have gone through different post-run workout exercises so that you can build a training program to keep you strong throughout your distance-running journey. The exercises are here to help prevent overuse injuries and increase athletic performance without needing to log in more miles.

I hope you found this article helpful!