There are hundreds of resistance band workouts for runners out there to add into your training routine. Even better, you can choose to do them from the comfort of your own home or at the gym.
Resistance bands are one of the best tools you can use to keep strength training when you no longer have access to a gym or just don’t want to go there for personal reasons.
They can target the major muscles you use while running, mainly your core, glutes and legs. They are also really affordable and simple to use. You can use them almost anywhere!
The benefits of using resistance bands are numerous. Here are just some of the reasons why I love using resistance bands in my workout routines:
- They improve the quality of your exercises.
- They recruit stabilising muscles.
- They are a great alternative to gym equipment and machines.
- They’re compact and lightweight.
- They’re cost effective.
- They’re designed for compound exercises.
- They’re great for rehab and injury recovery.
According to a 2019 study, elastic resistance training is able to promote similar strength gains to conventional resistance training.
Here are my favourite resistance band workouts for runners.
5 resistance band workouts for runners
Side steps are good for strengthening and stabilising your hip flexors and are one of my favourite resistance band workouts for runners.
As a runner, your hips take some serious impact, especially on those long runs. If you regularly experience stiff or painful hips, side steps are a great exercise to try.
Loop the resistance band around your ankles and bend your knees slightly. Take side steps left then right again.
The thicker the resistance band, the harder it will feel. If you’re a beginner, start with a thinner resistance band.
Make sure you keep the tension in the band and don’t let your feet come together.
Repeat this movement 12 to 16 times. You will slowly get stronger as you add more resistance to the exercise.
Don’t let the name of this workout worry you – they’re not as bad as they sound! Monster steps are another great exercise for glute activation.
Loop the band around your ankles, bend your knees slightly and sink into a squat – your feet should be hip-width apart.
Take big steps (hence the ‘monster’ name), making sure that your feet are as wide as possible.
Take 10-15 steps forward then step back to where you started. You’ll soon feel the burn after a few sets of these!
Standing hip abduction
This one is good as it really targets and strengthens the hip muscles. You’ll need a thin resistance band for this exercise.
Loop the band around a sturdy object and the other round your right ankle, then stand tall with the left foot on the tubing, while holding the opposite handle.
Next, while keeping the right knee straight and engaging the core, kick your right leg outward, hold for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position.
Don’t be tempted to rotate your hips. Instead, keep your focus on using your hip muscles.
Repeat 10 times then change to the opposite leg.
Clams are my favourite resistance band workouts for runners. I regularly do two or three sets of clams before a workout in the gym as they are so effective at priming the glutes for exercise.
They are also a great exercise to target the outer thighs, groin and hip flexors.
Lie on the floor, turn on your side and loop the band around your lower thighs.
There has to be quite a bit of resistance in the band for this exercise to make it effective., so you’ll need a thicker band.
Slowly open up your legs in a clam motion then close them back again.
Repeat 10-20 times depending on how hard you want to go. I like to mix it up with hip bridges in between.
Kickbacks are so simple and effective and are great for targeting the back of your thighs and bum.
Loop the band just above your ankle and face a sturdy object, like a chair or wall.
Slightly bend your knee and lift your left foot off the ground, driving the heel back in a kickback motion.
Hold for a moment at the top of the movement, then lower down and repeat on the same side.
Don’t be tempted to rock forward – engage your core muscles as you lift