Cross-Training For Running: What Exercises Should You Do To Improve Your Running?

Training for running might seem like a straightforward affair: You put on your running gear and you run until

However, what if we told you that you could improve the efficiency of your training by adding other types of exercises to your routine?

Well, in this post we will be doing exactly that, by showing you how to incorporate calisthenics into your running practice.

But first of all…

What is calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a new form of exercising that involves mostly compound movement and own weight exercises.

It comes from the junction of two greek words: kallos (beauty) and sthenos (strength).

How can calisthenics improve running performance?

As the name indicates, calisthenics focuses on mastering strength using your own bodyweight.

This is crucial for running. Developing leg and core strength will allow you to run much more effortlessly, improving your race performance.

In addition, calisthenics exercises usually involve different muscle groups, requiring coordination between them, which is an essential skill for running. Flexibility is also a core element of this type of exercise, which helps reduce soreness and improves post training recory.

With that in mind, here is a simple 4 exercise routine that will improve your lower body strength:

Exercise 1: Leg/knee raises

Grab a pull up bar with the hands at shoulder distance and keeping your core straight, bring your legs to as close as possible to the bar.

If this is too hard, try bending the legs and bringing your knees to your chest.

Exercise 2: Pistol Squats

This exercise is not recommended for beginner due to its difficulty level and balance and flexibility requirements.

Lift one leg from the ground and grab the ankle. Then proceed to do a normal one leg squat without letting go of the ankle and keeping the leg that is raised as straight as possible.

Exercise 3: Archer Squat     

The archer or Cossack squat works on both strength and flexibility.

To do this exercise, set your feet wide apart. Then, lifting one feet so that the heel is still in contact with the floor and the toes are pointing to ceiling, move your core to the opposite feet, until you are close to ground.

After that, shift your weight to the other feet, changing the feet position.

To add difficulty to this exercise, try going lower, or grabbing weights/using a weight belt.

Exercise 4: Box Jumps

As the name indicates, this is a pretty straightforward exercise consisting of jumping to and from an elevated box.

A more demanding variation of this exercise consists of jumping with one leg only.

Final thoughts

We hope that we have inspired you to give calisthenics a try. If you are interested in a complete list of calisthenics exercises for all muscle groups, feel free to check this resource.

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