Running is a relatively inexpensive sport…. until you get serious about it. The shoes, gear, clothing, registration costs for races, the cost of a running coach, and all the food you eat add up. The last thing you want to add to that is a gym membership fee, especially if you dread the treadmill – which is why today I’m sharing with you what you need to build a home gym for runners.
Strength training is essential for runners. Strength training reduces your risk of injury and improves your running economy, meaning that you can run faster and farther without your body rebelling. But what should you do if you don’t want to pay for a gym membership? You can do bodyweight workouts – which are incredibly effective, especially if you add explosive movements – or you can spend a fraction of the cost of a gym on home gym for runners.
You don’t even need a designated room as your home gym. I use these three pieces of equipment in my one-bedroom apartment! These three items can tuck away easily, take up a minimal amount of space during a workout, and will help you strength train in a way that improves your running and overall health.
Ever since I first learned about strength training with resistance bands at the Rise.Run.Retreat, these tiny little rubber loops have become an essential tool for my at-home gym. Resistance bands are portable and cheap – perfect for a home gym! These little bands make many bodyweight exercises more difficult and you can use them for runner-specific injury prevention exercises.
I have a Perform Better mini resistance loop for lower body work, such as squats, bridges, and clamshells, and a regular band for upper body work and stretching.
Workouts to Try:
6 Strength Exercises for Runners from Runladylike
Kettlebell or Medicine Ball
Unlike a barbell, a kettlebell or medicine ball only takes up a small amount of space. Both of these pieces of equipment are multifunctional pieces that can give you a quick and effective total body workout. A handled medicine ball or kettlebell can be used for squats, swings, deadlifts, lunges, bridges, rows, etc. – any move that you would use dumbbells or a barbell for.
Workouts to Try:
Yoga or Pilates Mat
The type of mat you choose depends on your preference of yoga over Pilates. If you love yoga, you will want a thin, grippy mat. Pilates enthusiasts are better off choosing a slightly thicker mat to provide spinal support of rolling exercises and inversions. Some Pilates mats will even come with handles at the top to help you anchor during the more advanced exercises, such as this Stott Pilates Express Mat. Of course, you can use the mats interchangeably if you do both.
I’m partial to Pilates over yoga, since it strengthens your core, hips, back, and glutes. It’s an incredibly effective core workout because it trains your entire core together in functional, precise movements. Pilates was designed as rehabilitation for injured soldiers after World War One, thus making it an excellent choice for runners looking to prevent or return from injury.
Workouts to Try:
6 Perfect Post Run Yoga Poses from Happy Fit Mama
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Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday!
What pieces are must-haves for your home gym?