5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

Prepare your legs for tough trails with these strength-boosting moves

Whether you’ve been a trail runner for years now or are new to this area of running, working on your strength is key to staying injury free. These exercises focus specifically on improving leg strength, and will help you to negotiate uneven terrain – and keep both feet on the ground – when tackling challenging trails, including hills, woods and overgrown forests. Some of the exercises are also designed to improve balance – helping you to cope with sudden twists, turns or changes in terrain on more difficult routes.

Clock lunges

5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart
  • Imagine you are in the centre of a large clock and step your right foot forwards to the one-o’clock position
  • Step down into a lunge and then drive back to standing off the front leg
  • Now step into a lunge with your right foot in the two-o’clock position and drive back up to standing
  • Repeat until you reach six o’clock and then swap to the left foot, moving around the clock from seven o’clock to 12 o’clock

Single-leg ski jumps

5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

  • Place a rope or band on the ground to the right of you and then stand on your left foot
  • Move into a half-squat position and then spring off your left leg over the rope sideways and land on your right leg
  • Move into a half squat on your right leg and then spring back over the rope to your left leg
  • Repeat x 20

Ski jumps with a turn

5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

  • Place a rope or band on the ground to the right of you
  • With your feet hip-width apart, move into a half squat position
  • Spring out of the half squat, over the rope, turning 180 degrees in the air to land on the other side of the rope facing backwards
  • Repeat the move in reverse to return to your starting position
  • Repeat x 20

High-knee lunges with calf extension

5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

  • Step forwards into a lunge position
  • Step out of the lunge bringing your knee up high and moving onto your tiptoes as you pass the mid point of the movement
  • Step forwards onto the other leg and repeat for 20 steps

Glute bridges

5 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

  • Lie down on a mat on your back with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your knees bent
  • Perform a pelvic tilt and gently bridge up with your hips, extending upwards as high as you can, without overarching the lower back
  • Squeeze your butt muscles at the top
  • Hold for two seconds, then gently lower your body back down and repeat

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