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Most Running Programs are not designed for Runners.

They are likely excellent programs in themselves – their major fault is that they usually work your body in a completely different way than the actual movement of running.

Spiderman was dangerously close to finally catching the 'Lycra Bandits'

The runners and the dumbbells should be friends:

When weightlifting started to enter mainstream popularity, many runners found themselves ‘hitting the gym’ in the quest for faster times.

Unfortunately for the majority of the runners diligently working out , they mostly experienced slower times, greater fatigue and increased incidence of injury. But why was this? Part of this was that they were working out without the science available today, but beneath this was a major factor:

Your average ‘running workout’ has no consideration for the actual sport of running

Do you run with one leg at a time, or two legs at a time? If you ran one leg at a time would it make sense to teach your body to be better at pushing off one leg at a time?

The answer becomes evident if we look more closely at how you naturally run:

Kangaroo vs Leopard

Kangaroos use both feet at the same time to move forward

Do you run by using two legs at once – like a kangaroo?

Notice how the rear leg and the opposite foreleg are on the ground at the same time - similar to how we naturally run

Or with opposing legs – like a racehorse?

Do most of your exercises have you working out two legs at a time?

Would it also make sense to exercise opposing leg and upper body segments at the same time?

What if I told you that most of the exercises your program has you doing are probably of little or no use to your running prowess?

Common exercises that give poor ‘return on investment’ in regards to running

  • squats
  • leg presses
  • leg curls
  • leg extensions
  • adductors/abductors
  • bench press
  • lat pulldown

Your exercise program should reflect how you run. Most don’t.

The below picture demonstrates how we run using one leg forward while swinging the opposite arm forward with each step.

As demonstrated in this picture, as you run you counter-rotate through the upper body (notice how every leg has the opposite arm forward?)

Here’s a quick 3 minute video that shows the #1 exercise for every runner or triathlete to do.

Just to be sure, I have included another 2 exercises in this video just to be sure you don’t leave unsatisfied:

Watch the video below to see the exercises that will have you running at your best ever!


If you only have 20 minutes in the gym, do the above exercises for 3 sets of 10-15 reps each side and you will see marked improvements.

You now have an exercise for your upper body, core and lower body that are all designed to help you run better.

Just a few of the changes you should see from doing the above exercises:

  • Improvements in your running strength/times and technique
  • Elimination of those niggling injuries that come from long runs
  • Greater return in your time and effort invested in the gym

if you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

Never run on a treadmill again pt 1

Never run on a treadmill again pt2

which is best: treadmill, bicycle or elliptical?

Jamie Atlas

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