We need leg strength for performance as well as injury prevention. For a runner, that doesn’t mean massive explosive power (though that sounds fun – we wouldn’t know). Instead, it’s about things like structural stability, balance, and coordination.

Yes, you can survive without a regular strength routine, but if you want to THRIVE, adding a routine like this leg strength circuit two or three times per week will provide some notable gains. (If you prefer to watch it, scroll down for the video. Also, we’ve got this snazy printable 1-page you can download, too!)

NOTE: This routine was developed in collaboration with Adam Homolka, DPT, ART (Endurance Rehabilitation and Athletics).

Single Leg Spring

This is an upward and forward single-leg spring focused on upright posture and knee drive.

  • Drive the opposite knee.
  • Land on the same foot.
  • Reach down with the opposite arm to touch the ground.
  • Continue jumping from the same foot.
  • (5-10 reps on each leg)

Drive the knee.

Single Leg Spring

Land on the same foot

Single Leg Spring

Reach down with the opposite arm to touch the ground.

Single Leg Spring

Continue jumping from the same foot.

Single Leg Spring

Lateral Lunge Shuffle

This is an active side-to-side lunge emphasizing extension and agility.

  • Step forward with one foot.
  • Extend the other foot laterally to the opposite side.
  • Lunging to the side, touch the ground beneath.
  • Return to neutral.
  • (10-20 reps to each side)

Step forward with one foot.

Lateral Lunge Shuffle

Extend the other foot laterally to the opposite side.
Lunging to the side, touch the ground beneath.

Lateral Lunge Shuffle

Return to neutral.

Lateral Lunge Shuffle

Continue on the opposite side.

Lateral Lunge Shuffle

Squat Jumps

This is a standard stationary jump from the squat position emphasizing power and posture.

  • Stand shoulder feet apart.
  • Arms straight forward.
  • Squat and spring upward on flat feet.
  • Land on flat feet.
  • Squat and launch again.
  • (10-20 reps)

Stand shoulder feet apart. Arms straight forward.

Squat Jumps

Squat.

Squat Jumps

Spring upward on flat feet.

Squat Jumps

Land on flat feet. Launch again.

Squat Jumps

Single Leg Hops

This is a form of calf bounces with added emphasis on posture.

  • One knee raised to hip level.
  • Arms in running position.
  • Spring upward and forward.
  • Propel off toes.
  • Land on the balls of the same foot.
  • (10-20 reps on each leg)

One knee raised to hip level. Arms in running position.

Single Leg Hops

Spring upward and forward. Propel off toes.

Single Leg Hops

Land on the balls of the same foot.

Single Leg Hops

Double Leg Hop

This is a form of bunny hops focusing on calf and ankle strength.

  • Feet close together.
  • Arms relaxed.
  • Spring upward and forward.
  • Propel off toes.
  • Land on balls of feet.
  • (10-20 reps)

Feet close together. Arms relaxed.

Double Leg Hop

Spring upward and forward. Propel off toes.

Double Leg Hop

Land on balls of feet.

Double Leg Hop

Lunge Jumps

This is a dynamic lunge with a jumping transition to emphasize structural stability and posture.

  • Begin in a neutral position
  • Feet close together
  • Jump to a lunge position.
  • Knees at 90 degrees.
  • Arms in a running position.
  • (5-10 reps in each direction)

Begin in a neutral position. Feet close together.

Lunge Jumps

Jump to a lunge position. Knees at 90 degrees. Arms in a running position.

Lunge Jumps

Jump to switch legs.

Lunge Jumps

Land back in lunge position.

Lunge Jumps

Have you tried our routine? What are your thoughts? If you prefer to watch it, check it out here:

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