Many of us are up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a run before work. At night, few of us have the time or energy to still hit the gym to strengthen our running muscles and to fi rm up the wobbly bits. Here are three quick strengthening exercises you can fi t in after a morning run. It will only take maximum 15 minutes and you can do it in the comfort of your home, just before you head for the shower.
Modified Push-ups (works chest, front of shoulders, triceps and abdominals)
- Kneel on all fours with your ankles crossed over each other, arms straight, but elbows not locked, palms of your hands on the floor, slightly to the side and in front of your shoulders.
- Look downwards.
- Bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are almost parallel to the floor. Keep your abdominals tight so your back stays straight.
- Hold for three seconds and then push your body back up.
When you are stronger you can graduate to doing full push-ups, without bent knees.
Forward Lunge (works gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves)
- Place your hands on your hips. Stand up straight with your abdominals contracted, feet hip-width
apart, toes facing forward and weight back on your heels.
- Lift your right toe slightly and leading with your heel, step forward with your right foot (about a stride’s length).
- As your foot touches the floor, bend both knees until your right thigh is parallel to the fl oor and your left thigh is extended behind you. Ensure that your right heel is in line with your right knee (not in front of it); you’ll fi nd that your left heel lifts off the floor.
- Now press off the ball of your right foot and step back to the starting position. Repeat this movement, but step forward with your left foot and follow the same sequence.
- Right and left step forward (lunge) count as one repetition.
Squats (works gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves)
- Place your hands on your hips and stand tall, abdominals contracted, feet hip-width apart, toes facing forward and your weight slightly back on your heels.
- Bend your knees and squat back and down, as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Don’t squat any lower than the point at which your thighs are parallel to the fl oor and don’t let your knees
extend too far in front of your toes.
- Return to your starting position.
Sets and repetitions for all exercises:
- Month 1: One set of 12 repetitions.
- Month 2 and onwards: Two sets of 12 repetitions.