6 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

by | Nov 11, 2016 | Workouts

This workout can help keep trail runners fit and injury free. Incorporate it into your training once a week.

More and more runners are leaving the tarmac and heading for the hills. And when you consider how many benefits trail runners enjoy, it’s really no surprise. For starters, trail running is a safer alternative because you don’t have cars to contend with – which also means no foul exhaust fumes and the symptoms that often come with them, like burning eyes, headaches and a tight chest.

Another perk? Going off road makes you work harder as you navigate tricky, uneven terrain and steep inclines, which means more fitness gains. Of course, that also means you need to be more nimble to avoid losing your balance. Plus you’ll need enough strength to get to the top of those hills. That’s where this workout from running coach Sean Tait, founder of Off The Mark Training, comes in. Add it into your training one day a week.

Your Moves

Start with a basic forearm plank, doing three sets of 30-second holds and working up to 90-second holds over time as you get stronger. Then move on to these…

Cross Crunches

Reps: 3 x 16 working up to 3 x 40 continuously alternating.

Why: It builds functional strength through rotational movements.


Side Plank

Reps: 3 x 20 second holds, working up to 3 x 60-second holds per side

Why: It develops core stability.

Hip Extensions

Reps: 3 x 8, working up to 3 x 20 per side

Why: It activates your glutes and improves hip mobility.

Bird Dog

Reps: 3 x 20-second holds, working up to 3x 60-second holds per side

Why: It develops strength down the back of your lower body.

Scissor Kicks

Reps: 3 x 10, working up to 3 x 30 reps each side, continuously alternating

Why: They strengthen your lower abs and hip flexors.

For Tait’s full training programmes for beginner and intermediate trail runners, get the November issue of Women’s Health, on sale now! 

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