Here are some of the best bodyweight exercises you can do to strengthen your stride and maintain better posture through each run. These bodyweight moves will help you target your legs, core, and even your upper body.
How to use this list: Try incorporating five or more of the exercises below into your workout at least three times a week. Do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise for 3 or more sets. The list is ordered according to body part: lower body, core, and upper body. You can opt for 5 exercises per muscle group (for example: one week might include a leg-day workout, a core-focused routine, and an upper body session) or opt for a mix of moves to target your entire body.
Start standing with feet just wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out, clasp hands at chest for balance. Send hips back and bend at knees to lower down as far as possible with chest lifted. Press through heels back up to starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with right foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Drive through right heel to stand, while stepping left foot forward and dropping into a lunge on the left side. Continue walking forward, making sure back knee hovers just off the floor with each step. You can perform this move with body weight or holding two dumbbells or kettlebells for an added challenge. Do 10 to 15 reps per side.
Start standing with hands on hips. Shift weight to left leg and bring right knee up so hip, knee, and ankle form 90-degree angles. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on other leg.
Stand with feet together. Step right leg back, lowering down so both knees form a 90-degree angle, with right knee hovering just above the floor. Drive through left heel to stand up to starting position. Repeat on left side. Continue alternating for 10 to 15 reps per side.
Lie faceup, knees bent, feet planted, arms down by sides on the floor. Lift right leg up toward the ceiling, so that both knees are aligned. Engage glutes as you lift hips up, driving through left heel. Lower back to the floor, then repeat for 10 to 15 reps. Switch sides.
Start standing. Place top of right foot on a yoga block, bench, or chair behind you. Step left leg out far enough to create a 90-degree angle without the knee reaching past the toes. Squeeze inner thighs together, as you lower straight down. Left knee should hit 90 degrees, while right knee points straight down to the floor. Press through the left heel to return to starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps. Then switch sides.
Lie faceup, knees bent, and feet planted on the floor. Drive through heels, contracting the glutes to send hips toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step left foot back and lower into a lunge, knees forming 90-degree angles. Drive through right heel to jump up, switching legs in the air. Land in a lunge position with left leg forward. Continue alternating lunges with a jump in the middle, aiming to increase time in the air and decrease time on the ground. Do 10 to 15 reps per side.
Start standing and shift weight to left leg as you lift right knee so shin is parallel to floor. Send hips back and bend left knee to lower halfway down into a squat as you raise arms out in front of you for balance. Keep weight in left heel. Stand back up to starting position and repeat for 10 to 15 reps. Then switch sides.
Stand with feet hip-width apart on the edge of a step or box, legs straight. Push through to come up to toes. Pause for a second, then lower heels back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Lie faceup, knees bent, feet planted on floor. Place arms down by sides. Contract glutes and lift hips toward ceiling as high as possible you draw hands together below. Lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Stand on the edge of a step or box with feet hip-width apart, knees bent about 45 degrees. Shift weight to right leg and let left foot hang. Push through right forefoot to come up to toes. Pause for a second, then lower heels back down. Perform 10 to 15 reps then repeat on other leg.
Stand with left foot on a step and right heel hanging off the edge. Bend left knee to lower right heel below the step, then press back up. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps. Then repeat on other leg.
Stand on your toes with feet hip-width apart on the edge of a step or box. Slowly and with control, lower heels down below the edge of step. Pause for a second, then slowly lift back up to starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists. Step feet back and engage glutes and thighs to keep legs straight. Body should form a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels. Think about pushing the ground away from you and pulling the belly button up toward the spine to keep back flat. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged so body forms a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels. Engage glutes and thighs to keep legs straight. Drive left knee in toward chest, then quickly step it back to plank position. Immediately drive right knee in toward chest, then quickly step it back into plank position. Continue alternating for 10 to 15 reps per side.
Lie faceup, legs straight, arms by sides with hands positioned below glutes for support. Lift legs just six inches off the mat. Draw belly button to spine to keep low back from lifting up off mat. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Sit on the floor, knees bent, heels resting on mat. Lean upper body back about 45 degrees. With elbows bent and hands together, rotate torso to the right, then rotate torso to the left. Continue alternating for 10 to 15 reps per side. To make it harder, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell or lift heels off of floor.
Lie faceup, legs straight, hands under glutes for support. Keeping low back flat against the mat, lift legs up toward ceiling, keeping knees as straight as possible. Slowly lower legs back down toward the floor. Continue to press low back into mat. When legs hover just an inch off the floor, lift back up and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Lie faceup with both hands behind head, elbows wide, and legs in tabletop position with knees over hips. Peel right shoulder off mat to bring right elbow toward left knee, as you extend right leg straight. Reverse to draw left elbow to right knee as you extend left leg straight. Continue alternating for 10 to 15 reps per side.
Lie faceup on the mat with arms straight out so body forms a “T” and extend legs straight up toward ceiling. Keep your abs braced and lower your legs to the right as far as you can without lifting your shoulders off the floor. Swing legs to the left and lower as far as possible without lifting shoulders. Continue alternating from side to side with control.
Lie facedown with legs extended and hands placed on mat in front of forehead. Lift arms, chest, and legs off the floor. Contract the glutes and thighs and relax the shoulders and neck. Lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Start on all fours, knees under hips and shoulders over wrists. Keeping back flat, extend right arm and left leg straight out. Draw right elbow and left knee toward each other, hovering just above the floor. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps. Then switch sides.
Lie facedown, arms and legs extended. Contracting back, glutes, and legs, lift arms, chest and legs off the floor. Holding the elevated position, lift your arms and legs up and down, one side at a time in quick succession like you’re swimming. Hold and continue alternating legs and arms for 30 to 60 seconds.
Lie facedown, legs straight and arms out to the sides in a T and thumbs pointing up. Bend left leg and reach heel toward right hand. Try to keep shoulders on the ground. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Then repeat on other side.
Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core, glutes, and legs engaged. Bend the elbows to lower chest to the floor. Elbows should point back at a 45-degree angle. Push back up to starting position, making sure to keep hips in line with the rest of the body. If you can’t push up without dipping hips or get chest to floor, drop to knees to build strength. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Sit down on a chair, bench, or box with feet planted on floor. Place hands behind you on the edge of seat. Lift hips up to slide off seat. Bend elbows to lower butt to floor. Push back up and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Reach down toward toes and walk hands out to a high plank position. Bend elbows at a 45-degree angle, as you lower chest to floor. Push back up to plank. Walk hands back to feet, then slowly roll back up to stand. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Start in high plank position, with arms straight, wrists directly under shoulders, body forming a straight line from your head to heels. Bend right elbow to lower right forearm to the floor. Lower left forearm to the floor. Extend the right arm, then the left arm to return to starting position. Continue to repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Place hands down in front of feet, then jump feet back to a high plank position, keeping hips up and in line with shoulders and heels. Drop chest to the ground. Push back up, without arching back, as you jump feet back to hands. Stand and jump up. Repeat from the top for 10 to 15 reps.