Running is great exercise, but it can also be repetitive and difficult to master.
This difficulty makes many people avoid running in favor of exercises that are easier to jump right into, such as cycling or swimming.
But, once you learn how to run properly, pace yourself, and control your breathing, running can be very rewarding.
One of the challenges is getting your body used to the process of running. You need to work certain muscles and use correct posture. This takes practice. Though, there are specific moves that you can use to help with this process.
Here are 7 simple moves that will dramatically improve your running performance. Include these in your workout to increase endurance, flexibility, and power.
Perform each of these moves for 30 seconds to complete one set. If you perform 4 sets of each move, the entire workout will only take about 15 minutes. Try doing this each day to get more out of your runs.
#1 – Butt Kick Step
First is the Butt Kick step. With this, you’ll drive your heel toward your butt while lifting up on the ball of the opposite foot. Depending on your flexibility, you might have trouble reaching your butt at first. Over time, as your flexibility increases, you’ll get there.
Perform this for 30-seconds, switching between legs and pumping your arms. You can perform this step while remaining in place or while walking forward. The more speed you use the more intense this workout becomes.
#2 – Skipping
Next, you’ll go skipping, just as you would as a kid. Though, you’ll try to skip as fast as you can. Also, try to maintain proper form while you skip.
It’s tempting to sway from side to side, due to the momentum. But, you should try to keep your body straight and your core engaged.
As with the previous move, speed helps increase the intensity of this exercise. The faster you go the more you will get out of this move. Start slowly and begin increasing your pace, while attempting to go as fast as you can within the 30-seconds.
#3 – Straight Leg Jog
For the Straight Leg Jog, you’ll stand tall and lift one leg straight up as you rise on the ball of your opposite foot. You will bring your leg down and land on the ball of your foot as you repeat this move with your opposite leg.
The goal is to try to keep your legs as straight as possible. You find yourself leaning backward as you perform this move. To avoid this from happening, you need to engage your core muscles. Also, only lift your leg as high as possible without pitching backward.
#4 – High Knee Run
With the High Knee Run, you will run while trying to bring your knee as high as you can. Every time you bring a leg forward, bring your knee toward your torso.
While you perform this move, you should try to keep your back straight and not lean back. This will help with your form, allowing you to get your legs up higher without losing balance. Again, increase your speed to increase the intensity of the exercise.
#5 – The Power Skip
The Power Skip is kind of like a combination of the High Knee Run and the basic skip. You’ll lift your knee and bound forward. When you come down, you’ll repeat this step with your opposite foot.
As you lift off, you should keep your chest up. The idea is to get as much power out of the liftoff as possible. Swinging your elbows back while performing this move should help you get more lift.
Don’t lift your knee as high as you can. Instead, you should try to create a 90-degree angle with your thigh and torso.
#6 – The Leg Swing
The Leg Swing is the one move in this list that is meant to be stationary. You can perform this move while you’re standing near a wall or railing. You will need something for support to hold onto.
Stand to face your support and place your hands on the structure. Lift your left heel to lift your body slightly so that your right leg can swing freely.
Swing your right leg out to the right side and then bring it in and across your body to the left. Swing your leg back and forth for 15-seconds and then repeat with your opposite leg for another 15-seconds.
#7 – Side Shuffle
The final move is the Side Shuffle. This is a simple move that requires you to shuffle to the side.
You’ll rise on the balls of your feet and use your inner thigh to push off in the opposite direction. At the same time, you should swing your arms over your head, as if making a snow angel.
So, if you start with your right leg, you’ll push off with your right thigh and step to the left. Continue this movement for 15-seconds and then move in the opposite direction for another 15-seconds.
You now have 7 different moves that you can use for a short 15-minute running workout. Even if you don’t plan on running, these exercises will do wonders for your thighs, hips, and butt.
Running is great for your body and these moves will help you get more out of your workouts. Even just ten minutes of running can help improve your cardiovascular health. So, if you’re not already a fan of running, these moves may be able to help you get started.
Remember to perform 4 sets of 30-second moves. This should take about 15-minutes. You can follow this up with 15 to 30-minutes of cardio.
Don’t worry about speed when you first start performing these moves. Instead, focus on your form and posture. You’ll want to keep your back straight and engage your core while maintaining balance.
Good luck with these moves. Incorporate them into your existing workout or use them as the starting point for a new workout routine.