Have you just started to run and want to know what else you can do to improve? Below, we run you through some great running exercises for beginners (and non-beginners would probably benefit from doing them if they’re not already!).

If you’re starting to run more and finally feel like you’re getting into shape, that’s great! However, you can only run so much…

You NEED to strengthen the muscles that your body uses to run in order to improve your game. If you’re new to the world of running, this news might be new to you.

Don’t worry, however; it’s never too late to start strengthening!

Let’s have a look at several important (and easy) strength exercises that you, as a new runner, can use to step up your stride.

Running Exercises for Beginners:

These four exercises are effective and easy.

  • Heel Raises:

This calf-strengthening exercise is incredibly easy to perform and strong calves will help push you forwards when running.

In a standing position, place your hands on a wall or flat surface if needed (for balance). Running exercises for Beginners. The simple heel raise is a great way to improve your push-off when running.

Raise the heels of both of your feet off the ground, keeping your legs and torso as straight as possible.

Lower your heels to the ground and repeat.

Repeat 3 x 12 times.

This exercise targets your calf muscles and is easily manipulated for a more challenging movement. Here are some variations to try:

  1. bend your knees first, before raising your heels up and down (see image below)Running exercises for Beginners. Variation on the heel raise, try raising your heels up and down with your knees bent
  2. sit down, with weights in your hand, resting just above your knees. If you go to the gym it’s the smith machine that you want to use
  3. hold your heels off the ground for as long as possible
  4. vary the speed – try lowering down slowly (4-5 secs) and then raise up fast
  5. try all of the above on one leg
  6. last but not least, try all the above on a step. The step will give you a greater range of movement and so make you work harder


  • Planks:

Planks are an easy workout to perform, whether you’re at the gym or in your bedroom. This exercise works your abdomen and can be performed anywhere that’s flat and spacious.

Start by lying flat on the floor, as if you’re about to perform a pushup.

Using your elbows, lift your body off of the floor and keep your torso as straight as possible.

Hold this position for around 30 seconds.

Running exercises for Beginners. The plank is a great all-round body exercise.

Make sure to keep your abdomen as tight as you can manage!

As you get stronger, aim for 60 to 120 seconds!

  • Hip Thrusts:

Hip thrusts work your glutes – an uber-important muscle group for runners.

Start by resting your body on a raised surface, like a bench with your arms either holding your head or spread wide for support.

Your feet should be around hip-width apart.

Keeping your shoulders on the bench, lower and raise your hips.

Running exercises for Beginners. Hip thrusts work the glutes, which help push you forwards when running. 

Repeat 3 x 12 times.

  • Split Squat:

This variation of the classic squat is a powerful way to get your quads, glutes, and hamstrings stronger!

Start in a step-standing position, but with your back leg resting on a bench or chair. Hold dumbbells in each hand if you want to increase the difficulty.

Lower your torso down, keeping the front knee over your heel.

After this, move your body back up to its starting position, focusing on pushing up from the heel of the foot you have forwards.

Running exercises for Beginners. Split squats are more challenging, rest your back leg on a chair before lowering and raising the body.

Repeat 3 x 12 times.

Don’t Sleep on Strength Training…

The aforementioned exercises are all incredibly beneficial if you’re a runner.

New to the exercise?

Well, make sure to incorporate them into your routine. Research has shown that doing strength exercises in tandem with a running routine can drastically improve your performance.

Why not start now?

If you’re wanting more personal advice on what to do, then we can help. We offer running assessments that take a look at your movement control, running as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Book an appointment and one of our physios will help you out and give you an idea of which exercises are the best for you to focus on.



Trying out different exercises is key to improving and maintaining the body’s flexibility, which in turn can help with recruiting muscles efficiently.

If you’ve got any questions on the above, then please let us know (click for contact details).

Remember – Listen to Your Body!

Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.


As with all information given for exercises and exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or information, please use your common sense and don’t do anything that will hurt you. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. PhysioFit Health will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website or YouTube channel. This includes emails, videos, and text. Thanks for your understanding.

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