I asked Atlanta-area physical therapist, and runner herself, Lindsey Knowles, her favorite strengthening moves for runners who are lean on time. Lindsey says swiss ball squats, swiss ball bridges, and single-leg squats will strengthen a runner’s key muscles: the core, quads, and hips.
Grab that swiss ball and start the timer.
Swiss Ball Squats: glutes & quads
Find a wall. Stand with the swiss ball behind your lower back. Focus on pulling in your abs as you bend in to the squat. Hold for up to 15 seconds, keeping your hips aligned under shoulders and your knees aligned over your ankles. One set is 15 squats.
Swiss Ball Bridges: core & glutes
Lay on the ground on your back, stretch your legs, and center your feet on top of the swiss ball. While keeping your knees straight, gently lift your hips toward the ceiling. The key here is keeping your pelvis level and not overdoing it. Hold for up to 15 seconds. One set is 15 bridges.
Stand sideways on a sturdy step or box, one foot on the box, the other dangling off. Stretch your arms out in front of you to get some balance. Bend the leg on the box, aiming to let your heel on the dangling foot to brush the ground. Return to the starting position. Lindsey says be careful your knee doesn’t come forward over your toes or sway toward the other knee.