I’m not quite sure if Work It Out Wednesday is going to become a thing, but today it is! So get ready, because today I’m talking all about my favorite strength training workouts that are quick and able to be done at home!
As I started chasing bigger dreams in the marathon than just finishing, I have come to accept that strength training plays a major role in my success. While training for my second marathon, I was running six days a week, pushing myself harder than I ever had, and didn’t do a single strength exercise. Not a one. Guess what happened? I overtrained and crashed and burned on race day. By mile 8 I was struggling and contemplating dropping to the half. I stuck it out and finished and while I technically PRed (by about 4 min), I felt like I ran a lot better during my first marathon and was unhappy with the result of my second.
For marathon number 3, I cut my running down to 4 days a week and had two days a week dedicated to strength training. I cut 18 min off my PR and was 7 min away from a BQ. Marathon #4, I cut another 4 min from my PR and nabbed my BQ.
Bottom line: Strength training is a key component of running strong.
I’m following a lot of bloggers that are training for fall marathons, and some of them are training for their very first ones! Additionally, I’m currently building my base to get ready for Marathon #5 this winter. My current plan is to run 5 times a week, 1 dedicated strength day and 1 dedicated rest day. In the past, I haven’t been the best about adding on workouts after my runs–especially as my mileage increases and I’m running 11 miles in the mornings before work. This time around, my goal is to tack on quick and effective strength exercises on days that I’m recovering with easy runs.
In honor of that, and all my fellow marathon-running bloggers out there, here are my favorite quick and effective strength exercises for your enjoyment!
First and foremost, I’m going to praise the glory that is the Nike Training Club App. If you haven’t heard of it, or tried it, I highly suggest you download it and give it a shot. It’s got a variety of different types of workouts, most that only require your body weight, and vary from 15-45 min in length. For days dedicated to strength training I love their 45 min workouts. For quick, additional exercises, I’m a believer in their “Get Focused” 15 min workouts. My favorites are:
- Beach Legs
- Core Power
- Alpha Abs
- Sculpted Arms
- Better Butt
- Arm Definer
They’re also great to do back to back to create a full body workout.
Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers has a bunch of great, great boot camp style workouts that can be done at home. My favorite of hers, however, is this Burnin’ Leg and Ab workout. It even throws in some push-ups so it’s a full-body workout. It takes me about 20 min to get through.
I am not a Crossfit person and don’t believe I ever will be, BUT, this Crossfit inspired workout from Tina at Carrots N Cake is a great, quick and tough workout. As she has it listed, it is TOUGH, but I’ve changed it around a few times to meet my needs. The At-Home Chipper, is great for a quick workout that will make you feel absolutely exhausted and like you’ve WORKED. It takes anywhere from 10-20 min to complete, depending on the exercises I’m incorporating (as listed, it takes about 15 min for me to complete).
This 10 Min Arm Sculpting Workout from PopSugar. I complete it with 5lb and 2.5lb weights and it leaves me tired every time!
The Deck of Cards Workout. My love for this one is going strong right now. Customize it for whatever you want (all abs, all arms, all legs, or a combo of exercises) and for how many reps you want (make face cards worth more than 11, 12, or 13 if you want something more challenging).
These Post-Run Power Exercises, shared by Janae of Hungry Runner Girl fame, are great for a quick addition to any run. Change the amount of reps as needed!
And those are my favorites for a quick and dirty strength workout! Hope you find some of these helpful and add them into your rotation!
Tell me. Any quick and effective strength exercises you love? I’m always on the hunt for other options!