As a runner you require strong legs. One of the best methods to strengthen your lower body is through single-leg exercises that will help improve your running efficiency.

“Because the sport of running can be described as a sport that is unilateral, comprising mini single-leg moves repeated over and over These single-leg exercises could aid in improving motor control when in a single-leg position and stability, and can help prevent injuries.” Dan Giordano, P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S. as chief medical officer of Bespoke Treatments tells Runner’s World.

In all likelihood, Giordano says, running without compensating on one part of your body or one muscle to another is a challenge that requires stabilization and power. When you run it is important to absorb the impact and move forward with on the same foot. To accomplish this without injury, says he you must have the strength to stand up to the impact and propel yourself through the sprint cycle.

In order to help you build your endurance, Runner’s World coach, Jess Movold, offers her top single-leg workouts for runners. You should consider dedicating at minimum one day in a week to doing these single-leg exercises, suggests Giordano. (You could practice bilaterally or both sides at different times, he says.) This will enable you to maximize your training as well as increase the speed of your entire workout. The trainer also recommends doing this exercise without shoes in order to strengthen your foot muscles. This is essential on the road.

How to utilize these lists: Perform each exercise below for four sets of eight repetitions. Each exercise is explained by Coach Jess so that you can practice the correct technique. You’ll need an exercise chair, step or bench, as well as the kettlebells or dumbbells for this exercise. A mat for exercise is not required.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Place your body on the mat with knees bent. Keep feet flat on the floor and arms at the sides. Lift your right foot off the floor, bent knee and keeping knee in place over the hip. Press left heel into the floor to lift the hips toward the ceiling, energizing glutes. Slowly lower them back. Repeat. Switch sides. Be sure that your core is engaged , so you’re lifting using the lower back.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Begin standing, putting weight on the left hand. Transfer weight to the right leg and, with an easy bend in the right knee, open the hips and send the butt back. Keep your back straight, shoulders down, and your core engaged as the torso extends towards the floor, while the left leg stretches straight back in front of you. Lower only till you sense a little pulling in the right hamstrings. you don’t need to lower the weight until you feel a slight pull. Push your foot right into the ground, then rise back up, pressing glutes. Repeat. Then , switch sides.

Single-Leg Step-Up

With your right foot on top the box and the other placed on ground climb onto the box by putting all of your weight on the right foot. Make sure to keep your knees over the laces and the body moving directly towards the upwards. Move left knee upwards towards your chest towards the top. Slowly lower it back to the ground. Repeat. Switch sides.

Single-Leg Squat

In the chair in front, looking away from it, extend left leg forward of you. With your chest elevated and shoulders moving back and down and straighten both arms out. Controlling your hips, move them forward and downwards, and then extend right leg so that it lowers down, then sit upon the stool. Keep left leg elevated and the upper body straight. Use right foot to raise your body. Repeat. Switch sides.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Place yourself in the chair in front and face away from it. Make a small step from a bench, chair or box or step. Take your left foot and put the laces back upon the seat. Maintain your chest high and a slight lean towards the front, bend left knee and lower it to the maximum extent you are able without a lot of control. Left knee should remain in line over the toes. Place left foot on the floor, then stand up. Repeat. Switch sides.

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The benefits of single-leg exercises for runners