Q: I recently bought a set of resistance bands. What moves should I do to make myself a better runner?
A: Train your whole body with pushing and pulling movements like the ones below—and don’t underestimate the importance of the upper-body exercises. As you run, your upper body acts to counterbalance your legs. A strong upper body will help you transfer energy more efficiently with each stride. Start with these moves to build strength and improve your running.
Half-Kneeling One-Arm Chest Press
Attach a resistance band to a stable surface like a door. Face away in a half-kneeling position with one foot on the ground. Hold the handle at your chest with the same hand as the down knee. Press the handle away from you until your arm is straight, then return to the starting position. Complete all your reps with one hand before repeating on the other side.
One-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Stand with a resistance band wrapped around one foot with your knee slightly bent, holding a handle in each hand. Hinge forward at the waist, lowering the handles as your other leg lifts behind you. Contract your hamstrings and glutes to return to a standing position. Complete a set on one side before repeating with the opposite leg.
Half-Kneeling One-Arm Row
Attach a resistance band to a stable surface like a door. Face the band in a half-kneeling position with one foot on the floor. Hold the handle straight in front of you with the same hand as the down knee so that there’s tension in the band. Initiating the move by squeezing your shoulder blades, pull your elbow behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat. Complete all your reps with one hand before repeating on the other side.
Stand tall in a split stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding the handles at your shoulders, stand on the resistance band with your front foot to create tension. Lower your hips toward the ground by bending your knees. Without letting your back knee touch the ground, return to the starting position by pushing up with your front leg. Complete a set on one side before repeating with the opposite leg.