We’re all born to run, right? We definitely are, except many of us spend our lives in office jobs, sitting in cars during heavy traffic, and other factors that all play a role in how our body responds to both running volume and intensity.
Training with your TRX® Suspension Trainer™ and other TRX weights plus resistance tools are a great way to add in running-specific strength, because while our bodies are highly resilient, over time, injuries can happen (like the dreaded IT band and achilles). The good news? Adding in strength training will make you a better, stronger runner by focusing on all the muscles that carry over into your running form and technique.
1) WARMUP ACTIVATION DRILL: BREAK OUT THE TRX® GLUTE BAND
Every run starts with a solid warmup, and a solid warmup can go beyond the usual run-in-place and stretch—it’s intelligently firing up the muscles you’ll use during running. Firstly and foremost, activating your hips and glutes (read: glute medius, glute minimus, glute maximus, adductors, and more) to help stabilize your pelvis for power. Our new TRX® Glute Bands are specifically designed for maximum glute strengthening in a comfortable design made with everyone’s needs in mind.
- Build up glute and hip strength to improve posture, pelvic stability, and low back pain.
- Soft fabric won’t bunch on leggings or tug hair when next to skin.
- 3 levels of resistance (light, medium, heavy) to best challenge you as you get stronger.
- Adjustable sliders offer even more customization.
- Mesh bag to carry with you wherever you go.
Perform the following moves back-to-back one time through to activate your entire lower body.
MOVE 1: MONSTER WALK, 20 STEPS EACH WAY
Wrap the TRX® Glute Band of your choice around your knees, hinge back into a quarter squat, and slowly step out to the left 20 times. Then step forward 20 times, to the right 20 times, then backwards 20 times to complete a square. The key? Keep your hips level and try not to shift your weight too much so your glutes and hips do all the work.
MOVE 2: SQUATS, 10 REPS EACH
With the Glute Band still looped around your knees, perform 10 bodyweight squats, then hold halfway down and perform 10 pulses (one inch up and down, no bouncing), and finish up with holding it at the halfway point again, this time pulsing your knees outward 10 times. The burn is SO real.
MOVE 3: GLUTE KICKBACKS, 10 REPS EACH
Get in a tabletop position, hands and knees on floor, Glute Band looped around your knees. Keeping the core tight and without letting the low back arch, lift one leg toward the ceiling—make sure you keep the knee bent the whole time. It’s a burner of a move and really teaches you proper glute and core activation at the same time.
Want to stop the workout here? Our TRX® Strength Bands are great for shoulder workouts, upper body moves, and all-around full body workouts.
2) STRENGTH SUPERSET: BREAK OUT THE MINI TRX® EXERCISE BANDS
Next up, we want to fire up the front of your hips, which includes your core. Why is this important? Lumbopelvic control and core muscles provide stability for better force generation and motion in the legs (read, less tight hamstrings and longer strides), as well as more controlled and efficient body movements. That’s definitely technical so here’s the gist: imbalances or weakness in the pelvic area and core can result in increased fatigue, decreased endurance, and injury in runners. Let’s add some resistance with our TRX® Exercise Bands, shall we?
Perform each move back-to-back, then rest for 30-60 seconds after the last move. Perform 3 rounds of the moves, then move on to the next Strength Superset, shown below.
MOVE 1: DEAD BUGS, 20 REPS TOTAL
Loop the Exercise Band of your choices (we recommend Lite or Medium) around the balls of your feet. Lie flat on your back and point your arms straight up at the sky. Lift your knees off the ground in a tabletop position (90 degrees). Tighten up your core and without moving anything else, straighten one leg out all the way, then slowly return it back to starting. Repeat on the other leg. Continue back and forth until you complete 20 reps. Feel free to add in this opposing movement to make it more challenging: straighten the opposite arm overhead and flat on the ground with each leg rep.
MOVE 2: HIP FLEXOR MARCHES, 20 REPS TOTAL
When your hip flexors are strong, you can bring your leg up higher for a better stride—plus it’ll take some of the stress away from your adductors so they don’t do too much of the work. With the Exercise Band still looped around the balls of your feet, stand up tall—as tall as you can, feet rooted into the ground—and lift one knee up as high as you can. Pause there for a second, then slowly lower it back down. Your opposite glute should be super fired up. Perform 10 reps on one side, then repeat on the other side. Extra challenge: Hold the last rep at the highest point for 10 seconds before returning to start.
MOVE 3: ADDUCTOR RAISES, 15 REPS TOTAL
Remember what we said about adductors doing too much of the heavy lifting? They should also be strong to keep your hips balanced (especially with all of the glute work). Take a page out of champion middle-distance runner & steeplechaser Emma Coburn’s book and perform this burner of a move: Lie on your side and keep the Exercise Band looped around the balls of your feet. Lift and bend your top knee toward your chest, thendrop your knee to rest on the floor, bottom leg stays straight. Lift your bottom leg up and down, resisting against the tension. Perform 15 reps on each side to feel the burn.
3) STRENGTH SUPERSET: SINGLE LEG MOVES WITH YOUR TRX® SUSPENSION TRAINER™
In the fitness trainer world, this is called “unilateral” strength and it’s important because, guess what? When you’re running, you’re suspended on a single leg the entire time. Perform these moves back-to-back on your straps (shop the HOME2 and PRO4 here), then rest for 60 seconds after the last move. Perform 3 rounds of the moves, then move on to the next Strength Superset, shown below.
WHAT IT DOES
- Excellent coordination and control challenge
- Improves power and strength that carries over into running form
- Using the straps also works your upper back and arms
MOVE 1: TRX LUNGE, 10 REPS
Balance and control is the name of the game (plus full leg strength and pelvic control) with this suspended lunge.
MOVE 2: TRX SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE, 10 REPS
Feel free to go double leg with our standard TRX® Glute Bridge, but to really up the ante, try for a single leg bridge to really isolate your hamstrings, which are super important for every runner.
MOVE 3: TRX SKATER LUNGE, 10 REPS
Want to feel super strong on one leg? Build up your quad (and knee strength) with this powerful move.
4) STRENGTH SUPERSET: WORK THE CORE
Planks are challenging on their own, but add the suspended effort of your TRX® Suspension Trainer™? Boom—now we’re talking serious strength and control. When it comes to core workouts, there’s no need to overdo it. All you need are a couple back to really dial in on every last ab, oblique, and back muscle.
MOVE 1: TRX ROLLING PLANK, 10 REPS TOTAL
This fiery combo is just that, FIERY. Start in an elbow plank with your feet in the cradles. Hold each of the following for a few seconds before moving on to the next for one full rep: Elbow plank > left side elbow plank > right side elbow plank > back to elbow plank. You’re welcome.
MOVE 2: TRX PUSH UPS, 10 REPS
Stay in the straps and move from your elbow to your hands. Perform 10 pushups and then rest, then repeat the superset two more times.
5) HIIT FINISHER: BUST OUT THE TRX® KETTLEBELL + TRX® MEDICINE BALL
Now for the finisher. Turn a timer on for 8 rounds with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Complete 8 rounds of the first move, then perform 8 rounds of the second move. Boom—your heart rate is up and your lower body fully torched. Make sure you have a TRX® Kettlebell and a TRX® Medicine Ball with some bounce before you begin.
MOVE 1: KETTLEBELL DEAD CLEAN
Place the Kettlebell between your feet then hinge back (like you’re about to deadlift), bending your knees to lower down when you can’t hinge back any further. Grasp the kettlebell by the horns, sit back a little deeper, chest up, lats squeezed like you’re holding a dollar bill there. Push through your feet and explode up, catching the kettlebell at chest height. Not sure how to perform this move? See a breakdown here. Not sure how to hinge? Try practicing with a broomstick first.
MOVE 2: SPLIT SQUAT HOLD + MEDICINE BALL SLAM
Hold a lunge position with both legs bent, back knee hovering off the ground. Slam the medicine ball down hard on your left side, catch it, then slam it down hard on your right side, catching it again. Repeat back and forth.
Congrats! Way to crush the whole workout. Feel free to do it twice a week to add in some serious strength to your running.
OH, AND JUST IN CASE…
If you don’t already have a set of straps, check out our HOME2 (best for those new to fitness) or the PRO4 (best if you need something more advanced), and shop them now. And, of course, behind every Suspension Trainer workout is the anchor that hangs it up—find the one for your training space here.