As runners we often like to stick to the road, track, trails or treadmill but when we look at the programs of elite runners they are also putting in the hours at the squat rack. Many people are intimidated by the gym and have no idea where to start, so how about a guide for 10 simple leg exercises for runners.
1. Squats: Squats target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, and can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or just bodyweight.
2. Lunges: Lunges are another great exercise for targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. They can be performed with dumbbells or just bodyweight.
3. Deadlifts: Deadlifts work the entire posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
4. Step-ups: Step-ups are a functional exercise that target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. They can be performed with a bench or a box.
5. Leg press: The leg press machine is an effective way to target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
6. Leg curls: Leg curls isolate the hamstrings and are commonly performed on a machine.
7. Calf raises: Calf raises target the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf and can be performed on a machine or with dumbbells.
8. Bulgarian split squats: Bulgarian split squats target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as the stabilizing muscles of the hip.
9. Single-leg deadlifts: Single-leg deadlifts are a challenging exercise that target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, as well as balance and stability.
10. Box jumps: Box jumps are a plyometric exercise that improve explosive power in the legs and can also improve balance and coordination.