I’m linking up today with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Upala at Pretty in Pink Fitness, and Amber at Bold Fit Mom for Wild Workout Wednesday. Check them out for more workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes!
HIIT workouts are an easy way for busy runners to incorporate strength workouts into their running program–and strength is what can take your running to the next level. A well designed HIIT workout for runners should concentrate on muscle groups runners rely on the most–the core, upper back, and lower body. When those muscle groups are strong, you are setting yourself up for stronger, faster runs while also preventing injuries.
HIIT workouts for runners can also refer to speed intervals. This post focuses on strength HIIT workouts for runners looking to increase strength to run faster and prevent injuries.
There’s a HIIT workout waiting for you at the end of this post!
Touted for various fitness (and cosmetic) benefits, the core is essential for runners. The core includes the abdominals, as well as the lower back. This area is responsible for holding the body at the ideal posture—critical while running. A runner with a weak core will tend to slouch when tired, thus making the body vulnerable to injury. A strength program that involves the core can give runners the luxury of not wasting any additional energy during a tiring run.
HIIT exercises like planks–and all their variations–are excellent exercises for runners looking to increase core strength.
The Upper Back
Most runners don’t immediately think of the upper back when embarking on a weight lifting program, but the upper back plays an important role in running. While the core muscles are holding the torso straight, perpendicular to the ground, the upper back should be keeping the shoulders from falling forward. Read more about proper running form here.
Similar to the core, planks are effective in strengthening the upper back. Additionally, push-ups will take it to the next level.
The Lower Body
Although an obvious component of running, many runners neglect to train the lower body, relying solely on running as a lower body exercise. However, running is a high impact exercise that is made much more tolerable by a strong lower body. HIIT workouts that involve the lower body will also strengthen the muscles around the joints helping to prevent injuries and pain.
Lunges are a great tool in strengthening the lower body. Lunges also mimic the motion—albeit exaggerated—of running. Lunges work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes in a similar fashion to running. Lunges also act as a great stabilizing exercise for the knees and ankles.
Burpees- Everyone loves to hate ’em, but burpees act a total body warm up in addition to total body strength. This workout starts with burpees as a warm up, and ends with burpees to really force you to focus on form while exhausted.
Plank Knee to Elbow- From a plank position (with arms fully extended), bring the right knee to meet the left elbow. Keep proper plank form while engaging and slightly rotating the core. 30 total–15 on each side.
Jumping Lunges- A dynamic lunging exercise, jumping lunges force you to stabilize as your feet hit the ground. From a lunge position, propel both feet off the floor just enough to switch leg positions, then land softly into a lunge. Remember to keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and ankle, knee, hip angle at 90 degrees.
Side Plank Reaches- From a side plank position, reach your free hand under your body and then back up to the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor. Stabilize your body during the movement by keeping your core tight.
Plank Jacks- From a plank position, jump your legs out and in while keeping your core tight and your body in proper plank position.
Burpees- End this workout with burpees. Take it slow and focus on form while your body is tired.
To become a strong, confident runner, strength training is essential and HIIT workouts can provide the strength desired in a compact amount of time. Integrate HIIT workouts into a complete running program and start reaping the benefits increased strength has to offer.