Whole-Body Resistance Band Workout for Runners

As a runner, you want to have strong legs and lots of endurance. Here’s a whole-body resistance band workout that can help improve your running performance and improve your flexibility and balance.

Selecting your resistance band
Before getting started, make sure you select the right kind of resistance band for you. You want a band that will allow you to finish 12-15 reps per exercise while maintaining proper form. Resistance bands come in varying degrees of thickness, with the thicker bands offering more resistance. Some examples are at Victorem Gear.

Working with resistance bands isn’t about speed; it’s about quality and taking your time. You may want several types of resistance bands to switch thicknesses depending on how challenging a given exercise is for you.

Once you can do 15 or more reps easily, go for a stronger band.

Let’s move on to the exercises.

1. Side steps

  • Wrap your hip band around your thighs and stand with your feet just wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Go into a quarter squat, keeping your back straight.
  • Step about 1 foot out to the right side with your right foot. Bring your left foot in, but keeping your feet wider than hip-distance apart. You can keep both hands on your hips.
  • Keep stepping out with your right foot and bringing the left foot in the same distance until you have reached one side of the room.
  • Work your way back, stepping out with the left foot this time.

Variation 1: To make this exercise more challenging, wrap the resistance band just above your ankles instead.
Variation 2: Do this exercise in a deeper squat.

2. Clamshells

  • Lie on one side, supported by your elbow or with your arm straight out on the floor.
  • Bend your legs 90 degrees and have the resistance band wrapped around your thighs.
  • Open your knees to push your top knee towards the ceiling while keeping your feet together. This is the clamshell opening.
  • Pause at the top before coming back down slowly. That’s one rep.

Note: Your hips should stay perpendicular to the floor throughout the exercise. Do all reps on that side before switching over.

3. Squat pulses

  • With the resistance band above your knees (around your thighs), sink into a squat.
  • Have both knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Now come up a bit and then pulse to go back down.
  • Keep up these pulses for the number of reps you want to do.

4. Standing Kickbacks

  • Wrap the resistance band around your ankles.
  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Make sure your core muscles are engaged so that your back is straight.
  • Now kick back one leg while keeping the band taut.
  • Your legs should be straight. Pause when your leg is about 8 inches out behind you.
  • Bring it back slowly and tap the foot on the floor behind the other leg.
  • Repeat the kicks for as many reps as you want to do for that side, then switch sides.

5. Leg extensions

  • Lay down on your back. Both legs need to be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Wrap the hip band around the middle of your feet (make sure you’re wearing sneakers).
  • Now straighten and extend one leg towards the floor, working against the resistance of the band. Keep the other leg in place. Be sure you have your lower back on the floor.
  • Pause when your straight leg is as low to the floor as it can go.
  • Bring it back slowly. That’s one rep.

Note: You’ll need to keep your feet flexed so that the band doesn’t slip off.

6. Plank with toe taps

  • Wrap the resistance band around your ankles.
  • While in plank position, move one foot at a time out to the side and tap the toes on the floor.
  • This works the sides of your legs while you’re working your core and your arms.

7. Slow-motion mountain climbers

  • Wrap the band around the middle of both feet, and do mountain climbers.

You’ll want to move slowly and keep correct form while you do this, and make sure your feet are flexed.

8. Standing robot row

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart and the resistance band just above your wrists.
  • Keeping your back straight, lean forward at a 45-degree angle with your arms straight and hands pointing towards the ground.
  • While keeping both arms close to your sides, bend your elbows to bring them either side of your waist. Your hands and forearms stay the same distance apart throughout the movement.

There you have it, your whole-body resistance band workout. Enjoy!

-By Sarah Peterson

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