4 great running exercises to work out different muscles

November 3, 2015

Many people think of running as one basic activity, but there are actually many ways you can run to stay in shape. These four exercises will help you strengthen a range of muscles groups.

4 great running exercises to work out different muscles

Running is a great way to burn calories, keep your heart in good condition and build muscle. Experimenting with different running styles will help you diversify your workout and improve as a runner.

1. Hit the trails

Taking to the trails is a good option if you’re looking to vary your running routine. Not only does trail running offer a change of scenery, it also challenges different muscle groups depending on whether you run uphill or downhill, jump over obstacles or turn quickly.

Trail running may be helpful for people who have sensitive joints and pain in their legs. It can be beneficial for ankles, feet and calf muscles

2. Try jump training

Jump training, or plyometrics can help you push your running to the next level. It combines running with several ways to stretch and contract different muscles. In this way, it can help you work all the muscle groups in your legs and increase your endurance.

Examples of jump training include performing deep squats or jumping lunges before or after your run.

3. Head to the beach

If you live near a beach, running on sand is a great way to get exercise. You get to experience the benefits of running near the water and enjoying the fresh ocean air.

You’ll also improve as a runner because of the way the body responds when feet sink into the sand. It’s likely that you'll notice more calf and glute development almost immediately.

Running on sand is a good way to vary your running routine, but you might find it more challenging if you're accustomed to pavement.

4. Take a brisk walk

Brisk walking is actually a great alternative or addition to running. That’s because walking exercises different muscle groups. It allows you to focus on your major leg muscles, while running works your minor muscle groups and core.

Many long-distance runners choose to intersperse periods of walking into their runs. Alternating running and walking can help you prepare for longer distances over time and allow tired muscles to rest.

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