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Strengthen Your Stride: Cross-Training for Runners

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These cross-training strength moves will help you run faster and reduce your risk of injury.

Do two sets of these moves twice a week [once on a rest day] to train your supporting muscles, reduce the risk of injury, and up performance, says coach Blake Boldon of the online training group Run S.M.A.R.T. Project.

Hands-Up Lunge

Targets: Hips, butt, quads, and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  • Lunge forward with left leg, bending knees 90 degrees.
  • Step back to start position; switch legs and repeat.
  • Do 20 reps, alternating legs.

Plank Flip

Targets: Back, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Start in plank. Lift right leg; lower. Lift left leg; lower. Do 5 reps each side.
  • Flip over to face up, legs together and extended, arms bent by sides, forearms on floor, torso lifted.
  • Lift hips a few inches. Lift right leg; lower. Lift left leg; lower. Do 5 reps each side.

Single-Leg Squat

Targets: Butt and quads

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides.
  • Lift right foot a few inches behind you and squat as you lift extended arms to shoulder level in front of you.
  • Straighten left leg and lower arms. Do 10 reps, keeping right foot lifted.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

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Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2010.


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