Do you run to clear your head? So do I. The fresh air relaxes your mind and when you return home you’ve had a great workout. But what if I told you there was a way to get the most out of your run? There’s a method to get your whole body working while still being able to get out and enjoy the fresh air. No need to hit the gym today to do your full body workout…
Tense your abs
To get those abs burning, keep them tight as you run. When your legs and hips move from side to side tense your abs, you’ll be working them as if you were doing plank hip dips. Even better news? You won’t just work one set of abs like you do in most ab workouts, you’ll feel it across your whole belly area! It’s a no-brainer to adopt this tiny tweak for your run!
Bring a resistance band
Light, compact and can easily fit in your sports bra. Yes, that’ right, I usually fasten my resistance band under the back of my sports bra. You won’t even notice it’s there until you reach the park and long to be able to do a cheeky HIIT workout in between k’s! Whip out your resistance band and do 3 minutes on your glutes, 3 mins on your arms and 3 on your abs. Here are some suggestions for these exercises:
Crab walks – with the band around your quads, sit back into a sweat position and move one leg outward, and the other one inward so you’re effectively walking like a crab. Stay low and don’t bounce back up to feel it in your glutes and quads.
Crab extend – in your squat position, push your outer thighs against the band. You should feel it burn your glutes. Do this as a pulsing movement for 16 counts and repeat 3 times. Build it up as you get stronger!
Arm pull-up – place your foot inside the band, and anchor it to the floor. Grasp the other end of the band and pull your elbow up towards the ceiling. Do this for 8 counts, then 16 as a pulse. You’ll be working your shoulders and biceps.
Triceps – place your hands up and over your head, as if you were working on your triceps with weights, but use your band instead. Push your hands outwards so the band is stretched as much as possible. As a pulsing movement, try and break the band by pushing outwards at every pulse, try not to lax the band but continue to push outwards.
Plank – place the band around your quads and do 45 sec plank. Using the band should tap into your glutes, and to support your glutes you have to work your abs harder! Have a 15 sec rest and repeat.
Hip dips – keep the band where it is and stay in the plank position. Roll onto the sides of your feet to move your right hip towards the floor. Bring yourself back to centre and repeat on the left side. Try and keep your body straight and zone into your abs to prevent your back from arching!
Change up your running style
Have you ever tried sitting lower and throwing your legs out further? This will work your glutes more and also improve your rate of movement. Likewise, if you reign in your movement and move from your knees for a few paces, you’ll feel it in your calves. Try switching it up to see the different muscles you can use while running – doing this regularly could tone up your legs in a more general sense than constantly working the same muscles.
Bring small weights…
…for your arms. Running with weights will not only work your arms though, it will also work every other muscle. The more you weigh, the more weight you have to shift and the more energy you’ll use up. If you’re abs are tight and you’re changing up your running style, weights will be the perfect addition to your run to get the most out of your workout!
Be a maniac
Overtime you pass a green space or a friend’s front garden, drop down and do 10 press-ups, 10 burpies or 20 crunches. This will not only work different groups of muscles, but it’s also fun! If you ever feel like you’re just running to burn the calories and it’s becoming super boring, challenge yourself to drop down 5 times during your run, then 6 times and so on.
Use park furniture
Bench dips, playground pull ups, step lunges, stair sprints… make the most out of the park you run through! Don’t gloss over all the activities a park can provide, but use them to get a full body workout. Being inventive is the best way to exercise – you’ll finish your run with a greater sense of satisfaction if you’ve worked all your muscle groups, as well as tapping into your creativity!