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3 Bodyweight Workout Routines For Runners

*Courtesy of Competitor.com

There will likely come a time when you, a dedicated runner, will be confined somewhere with no time—or place—to go for a workout.

What’s one to do? A little bit of creativity and your own body weight can help you maintain fitness and build strength without needing to go anywhere. Dr. Richard Hansen of High Altitude Spine and Sport in Boulder, Colo., as well as Dr. Sebastian Gonzales, who works on the medical staff at the Surf City Half Marathon and Marathon in Huntington Beach, Calif., both believe simple workout routines that raise the heart rate and work the body’s core are worth trying.

Gonzales encourages time-and-space crunched runners to focus on exercises that challenge core and pelvic stability while also working on controlling internal femoral rotation. “This is the main mechanism of injury for many lower-extremity overuse conditions,” he says.

Next time you’re in an unfamiliar location with little time to spare, give one of these workouts a shot:

Routine 1

Gonzales recommends 4 sets of the following routine with minimal to no rest between sets.

The first exercise—burpees—will increase your heart rate. The second exercise—reverse lunges—allow you to focus on controlling your body while moving under labored breathing. The third exercise—hollow rock—puts the focus on stabilizing the core.

Burpees (15 reps)
Tip: “Don’t sag the belly, don’t jump too high and don’t flop to the ground,” Gonzales says. “All of this should be in control. Remember all we want is the heart rate up.”

Reverse Lunges (20 reps on each leg)
Tip: Lower your hips to a 90-degree angle and work the glutes by pushing on the heel of your front foot as you come up. Also, try holding weights in your hands for added difficulty (and benefit). Gonzales says to avoid the following: 1. Allowing your knee to “cave” inward; 2. arches collapsing; 3. hip dropping; 4. a truck-forward motion; or 5. bending laterally. “The point is to stay in perfect form,” he advises.

Hollow Rocks (20 reps)
Tip: “This is not a crunch,” Gonzales adds. “This is a isometric ‘hold’ into a pose with some motion.” You should be ridged and take breaks when form is breaking down.

Routine 2

Hansen suggests trying this longer routine to build your core to help improve balance and ward off injury. One set of this challenging routine should suffice.

Front Plank (20 seconds)
Tip: Keep your back straight and try not to go to your knees.

Rocking Front Plank (20 seconds)
Tip: For this variation, rock your body forward so that you put pressure on your toes. Go until your shoulders are past your hands and then rock back to your starting position.

Rest (20 seconds)

Front Plank (20 seconds)

Front Plank Leg Lifts (20 seconds)
Tip: Alternate lifting your legs in the air behind you. Hold each lift for three seconds.

Rest (20 seconds)

Side Plank (20 seconds)
Tip: Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles up to your shoulders.

Side Plank Hip Lifts (20 seconds)
Tip: Focus on squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.

Rest (20 seconds)

Side Plank (20 seconds)

Side Plank Leg Lifts (20 seconds)

Rest (20 seconds)

Side Plank (20 seconds)

Side Plank Arm Lifts (20 seconds)
Tip: Keep your back straight during this challenging variation that tests your balance.

Rest (20 seconds)

Back Plank (20 seconds)
Tip: Make sure your palms are facing out. Look up at the ceiling and keep your body in a straight line.

Back Plank Leg Lifts (20 seconds)

Routine 3

Gonzales offers another routine that will raise your heartrate while working a wide range of muscle groups.

Mountain Climbers (60 seconds)
Tip: Decrease your range of motion if you have any impingement in the hip.

Air Squats (20 reps)
Tip: “Thighs parallel to the ground” should be possible, Gonzales says, if you can put your knees and hips through their full range of motion. “If it is not, make sure you only use range of motion that is not painful.”

Wall Sit (60 seconds)
Tip: These aren’t easy. Get in a deep squat position and keep your back flush against the wall. Build up to 60 seconds and take a break if necessary.