How to Build Explosive Strength for Running and Life

runners sprinting outside

Running may be your thing. Your happy place. But to truly be your best “on the road” and in life, strength training is really important. Extensive running will certainly help your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and improve your ability to run, but what about the rest of your life? Running alone won’t make you stronger all-around—once you’ve passed the beginner stage and your body has adapted to the new activity.

Incorporating strength training into your routine will help you prevent injury, build a more balanced body, make typical tasks easier—plus help you become a stronger and better (ie. faster or longer distances) runner. Isn’t that the goal? This runner-specific workout is designed to do just that. Give it a try!

Explosive Running Strength Workout

For each exercise, perform 4 sets of 8 repetitions, resting 60 seconds between sets. Use a challenging weight (when applicable) that allows you to complete all reps.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Bodyweight, Barbell

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Uni Snatch


1 – Squat holding a dumbbell in one hand, with your arm straight.

2 – Thrust your hips forward, pulling the dumbbell straight up overhead, catching it at the top with your arm straight.

3 – Absorb the dumbbell at the top by dipping at the hips and knees slightly, keeping your arm straight.

Keep the dumbbell close to your body throughout. Equipment Sub: Kettlebell



1 – Squat holding a dumbbell in both hands between your legs with your arms straight.

2 – Thrust your hips forward, swinging the dumbbell out and up overhead with your arms straight.

• Guide the dumbbell back down along the same path and repeat.

Equipment Sub: Plate, Kettlebell

High Knees

High knees

• Stand upright with your feet together and your arms by your sides.

1 – Run on the spot raising your knees as high as possible each step.

2 – Rapidly switch feet and use your arms as if running.

Push Press

Push Press

1 – Stand upright holding the barbell in front at shoulder height with your hands shoulder-width apart, elbows bent and your palms facing forward.

2 – Bend your hips and knees slightly and then quickly thrust the barbell overhead, extending your arms and legs fully.

• Keep your back flat throughout the movement.

Equipment Sub: Dumbbells

Kneeling Spring Blastoff

Kneeling Spring Blast-off

1 – Kneel upright on the floor with your arms by your sides.

2 – Step one foot forward onto the floor, getting yourself ready to come into a complete upright running position.

3 – Quickly push off the front foot, coming upright into a sprint.

• Walk back and repeat from a kneeling position.

Incline Power Push-Up

Incline Push-up

1 – Support your body on your toes and hands with your elbows bent and your hands up on a step.

2 – Rapidly push up off the step with your hands.

• Land with your hands back on the step, lowering your chest back down and immediately push up again.

Long Jump

long jump

• Stand upright with your arms by your sides.

1 – Dip slightly at your hips and knees, getting ready to jump.

2 – Jump forward as far as you can, swinging your arms up in front to help propel you.

3 – Land, bending at the hips and knees slightly to absorb and repeat the jump.

Turkish Get Up

Turkish Get-up

1 – Lie on the floor with a dumbbell straight up over your chest and one leg raised, bent at the hip and knee.

2 – Thrust the bent leg forward raising your upper body off the floor and placing your hand flat on floor to the side.

3 – Come up onto one knee with the dumbbell overhead and your arm straight. 4 – Stand upright with your arm fully extended overhead.

Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side. Equipment Sub: Kettlebell, Med Ball

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