Best Informative Cross Training For Runner’s Progress

Cross training for runners means a combination of one or more fitness activities to attain a more complete and balanced fitness. So, the best cross training for runners is the training of other muscle groups than the usual ones. The goal is to improve overall performance and prevent injuries from running, which often can be too one-sided. The benefit is that the overall performance increases. In Best Informative Cross Training for Runners  Progress, we will look at fitness and strength training.

Cross Training Purpose

 best cross training for runners Woman exercise lat pull down machine
Woman in Lat Pull Down exercise machine


The effect of the cross-training activities is different from running as it involves other muscle groups and/or uses them differently. Cross training prevents injuries. Many running injuries occur due to numerous repetitive movements that can lead to overload injuries.

The muscle, connective tissue that connects the muscle to the bone or the protective material around a joint is overloaded or inflamed simply because it is loaded too often or too hard.

To reduce the risk of overload injuries, you can either run fewer kilometers and/or run at a lower intensity. The problem is just that fitness decreases after a while. The solution may be to supplement your running training with cross-training activities.

With cross-training, you can maintain your fitness and at the same time prevent/or protect an area that is overloaded by running. Cross-training also provides good variation, which can break the one-sided running pattern that sometimes can be tedious.

Fitness Plan

Let’s take a look at how you use your body and your muscles when you run:

You train running by running which is obvious. But you can become a faster, more enduring, and injury-free runner with specific strength exercises for a number of the body’s muscles because Running creates great demands on the cooperation between virtually all muscles in the body, their mutual timing and power reserves.

Below you get 10 great exercises for all runners, where the intensity/repetitions of the exercises vary according to your chosen running distance – loading. The runner’s benefit means benefits by strength training of the specific muscles here.

Arms and shoulders

When you run, shoulders and arms swing from side to side at the opposite rotation around the pelvis and lower back. This gives you a better balance between the upper and lower body and greater propulsion.

  • The runner’s benefit

Strength training of arms and shoulders will strengthen the balance between the upper and lower body’s rotation and give you greater propulsion. At the same time, you prevent typical running problems such as shoulder and neck tension and tension headaches.

Abdominal and back muscles

Abdominal and back muscles provide shock absorption to the spine and shoulders and greatly influence your posture. The worse the posture around the spine, the greater the risk of injury in and around this area.

  • The runner’s benefit

Abdominal and back muscles create the rotation that causes the legs and arms to move forward as you run. The more strength these muscles have, the longer you can endure and the more force they can develop, so you can run faster. Hereby the easier you can prevent back pain.

The wide-back muscle

The wide back muscle is very important for propulsion in running. It stabilizes and moves the spine while pulling the arms backward. It provides stability around the loin and, together with the abdominal muscles of the abdomen, slows down the rotation around the spine during running.

  • The runner’s benefit

The back muscle can endure longer and is an important prerequisite for a stable spine that can spring and shock absorb properly. By strengthening it, you prevent injury to the entire body.

Buttock and back thighs

Their task is for the increased stride length relative to walking by pulling the body forward to the foot in front and past for then slowing the movement so the foot can land on the ground again. The deep muscles of the hip must also stabilize the pelvis and femur relative to each other, especially during landing.

  • The runner’s benefit

The Coordination in the muscle improves, so the muscles improve. The muscles hereby contract faster. It gives a faster leg shift and greater speed while preventing hip and lower back pain, on the front and back of the knee, shin bone muscle and Achilles tendon.

Calf muscle

In the last part of the take-off, the calf muscle pulls together so the ankle joint can be stretched out and give the last push forward to the body.

  • The runners benefit

The Coordination in the muscle improves. It contracts faster, giving you a faster powerful start and greater speed and prevents shin bone muscle and Achilles tendon inflammation

best cross training for runners Woman in stair hop on stadium
Fitness vs Running – stair hop on a stadium

When it comes to strength exercises for the lower body, only one is included for the back of the lower body. An exercise where you use your own weight, as the best is to train the lower body with specific running exercises such as hill/Stair hop, running in hills – also with excessive movements such as with the stride length.

If you already train optimally near the limit of your performance, it is best to avoid too much specific weight training for your legs to avoid overload and injuries.

The front of the thigh

The front of the thigh should slow down the bodyweight when putting the foot in the ground so that it does not “breaks down”. The better timing between all other muscles and the front of the thigh the better the body can withstand shock absorption from ankle to neck.

At the same time, the front of the thigh is included in the take-off from the foot is behind the hip.

  • The runner’s benefit

The Coordination in the muscle improves. It will contract faster, giving a faster and more powerful take-off and greater speed. In addition, prevents runner’s knee, pain under the kneecap and back of the knee, and overloading of the ligaments by the knee.

The shinbone muscles

The shinbone muscles control the foot when it lands on the ground. If they do not work optimally, your shock absorption will be reduced.

  • The runner’s benefit

Exercise the shinbone muscles along with the other leg muscles so that they are loaded as in running by flexing the ankle. Hereby you land on the ground better and prevent shinbone muscles and Achilles tendon inflammation.

Fitness and Strength Training Qualities

best cross training for runners rope training
Fitness and Strength Training Qualities – man exercise rope training

As middle- or long-distance runner, it is not a benefit to get big muscles, as this simply increases the weight that you have to bring with you during the run. It’s more about strengthening the body in general.

It’s done by counteracting the many one-sided movements, becoming more supple and strong, improving coordination, preventing injuries, and improving your running performance. So, it’s still a good idea making the same exercises as the man in the image above – but not get so big muscles.

Besides, strength in particular abdominal muscles and the back is a prerequisite for running in an effective running style. Increased muscle strength also provides good protection against disparity and wear.

The Fitness Center

Allows you to relax and variation in the running, keeping you motivated, preventing overtraining and injuries. Particularly in the winter, when the weather is not always the best choice when running.

When you go in to in a fitness center for the first time, it may seem very incomprehensible with all the opportunities and machines but overall, you can divide the fitness center into two main areas:

Cardiovascular training and strength training. Spinning, training in Cardio machines, step aerobics and the like is Cardiovascular training, while the strength aerobic hours and the workout in the strength training room are strength training.

Cross-Training From Home

Maybe you prefer to do cross-training at home because it’s easier, and in these pandemic times, the rules for training in fitness centers have changed. We all need to pay more attention to our behavior and personal hygiene. So, I have found a really good alternative to training at home.

I did not know that there are so many exciting types of workouts you can do from home or for yourself outside the fitness centers – Try this link below:


Final Thoughts

In Cross training as fitness activities, you experience that many of the body’s large muscle groups activates – so the whole body is exercised and gets shape and figure. You improve the running economy; it promotes the running movement and the preventive aspect is great.

I hope you like this blog and if you have any questions about the topic or want to leave your own Personal review, please leave a comment below.

What is the concept of cross-training?

Cross-training is physical training in sports other than the athlete's usual sport. The goal is to supplement the athlete's usual sport and improve overall performance, utilizing the particular effectiveness of one training method to offset the deficiencies of another.
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2 thoughts on “Best Informative Cross Training For Runner’s Progress”

  1. An informative piece on how to best train for a marathon which is absolutely spot on. I was quite fortunate when I did my running in that I worked out in different ways prior to this which was a great benefit for me. I even find cross training great for my cycling too. What I like about your article is the great link with muscles and your body which a lot of people would not realise. Our bodies move as one so important to train that way.

    I just wanted to ask why you did not add in workouts such as Yoga or Pilates?

    Great article.

    Thank you 

    • Hi Imelda

      Thank you for the comment. I really appreciate it.

      Yoga & Pilates comes later. I have made a serie of Cross training for runners.

      I upload them to my website one by one over time.

      Be Well


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