Do more during your run! Cross training can be beneficial for your body, but if you love to run, it can be tough to make yourself truly cross train regularly. To solve this issue, here's a cardio and toning routine that you can take with you on the road and to the gym.
This cross-training workout alternates strength training moves and running-inspired, traveling cardio drills to help you burn more fat in less time — all while still logging a few miles. You'll need a resistance band and a set of dumbbells.
1. Warm Up
Get your muscles ready for action by walking or jogging at an easy pace for three minutes.
Read more: 10 Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises to Prime You for Your Workout
2. CARDIO: Power Knees
Get that heart rate up even more with this next cardio drill that also engages your ab muscles and fires up your hip flexors.
HOW TO DO IT: Start standing and leaning slightly to the left. Extend both arms over your head to the left side. Raise your right knee across your body and bring down your hands to meet it. Lower your foot back to the start and raise your arms to the start (hint: your arms and right leg should form a diagonal). Repeat on this side for one minute before switching sides.
3. STRENGTH: Resistance Band Lateral Step
Strengthen your inner and outer thighs, hips and glutes with this resisted traveling exercise that will really help you go the distance.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand on the band with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding onto handles evenly (depending on your band's thickness, you may need to cross it as shown for more resistance). Brace your abs tightly and keeping your knees slightly bent, take a wide step out to side with one foot. Step the opposite foot in, traveling sideways, returning to start position. Avoid letting your feet come any closer than hip-width. Take 20 steps then repeat on the other side.
Read more: The Best Workout for Bad Knees
4. CARDIO: High Knees
Back to heart-pumping cardio drills! For a longer and stronger stride, you need to strengthen the muscles on both the front and back of your hips and legs. This drill primarily targets the front.
HOW TO DO IT: Jog in place but bring your knees up to hip height with each step. Think of it like hopping from one leg to the other. Continue for one minute.
5. STRENGTH: Single-Leg Squat
Build balance and strength in your lower half to help prevent knee pain with this single-leg squat.
HOW TO DO IT: Balance on your right leg, bending your left knee, lifting the left foot slightly off the floor. With the left foot lifted, perform a single-leg squat by bending your right knee (your knee should stay behind your toes) and pushing hips behind your body. Extend the right leg to return to start, without lowering your left foot. Too challenging? Keep your left toes tapped lightly on the ground for more stability until you feel ready for more. Do 20 reps. Repeat on the opposite side.
6. CARDIO: Speed Skater
Keep moving forward and power up your hips, thighs and glutes with this heart-pumping drill.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent and arms by your sides. Take a wide step to the side with your left foot, bending your knee as right leg crosses behind with right knee bent and foot off the floor. Allow your torso to lean slightly forward and your arms to swing to the left side to power your movement. Jump out and slightly forward with right leg to repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides for one minute.
7. STRENGTH: Side Lunge
Develop strength in your inner and outer thighs and glutes with this lower-body toner.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet together then step into a side lunge to the left by taking a wide step out to the side with your left foot. Bend the knee and push your hips back — knee shouldn't extend past toes. Push off the left leg and bring the left foot back to the right. Do 20 reps and repeat on the opposite side.
Read more: 22 New Lunges to Supercharge Leg Day
8. CARDIO: Run, Run, Run & Hop
Work on your agility and coordination and add a little spring to your step with this plyometric running drill.
HOW TO DO IT: Run forward, taking three steps, on the third step, perform a hop on one foot. Repeat, alternating lead legs each set, for one minute.
9. STRENGTH: Shoulder Press
Balance out your training with this upper body-focused strength move that targets the shoulders, arms and core.
HOW TO DO IT: Begin standing with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Lift the weights up to shoulder height, engage your abs and extend one arms overhead. Bend and lower your arm. That's one rep. Do 20 quick reps and repeat on the other side.
10. STRENGTH: Reverse Lunge
Improve your proprioception and switch up your training by leading with the backside of your body for a change.
HOW TO DO IT: From a standing position, step back with your left foot and bend your knees into a lunge. Both knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your front knee should be over your front ankle. Push off your back leg and return to standing. Perform 20 reps on each side.
11. STRENGTH: Bent-Over Row
Strengthen the muscles in your back and core to help support better posture during your run.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your spine naturally straight and abs drawn in, hinge forward from your hips, bringing your chest almost parallel to ground, reaching arms towards your feet. Bend the elbows behind your body and pull handles to sides of your torso. Extend your arms back out to floor and return to start, maintaining a flat back on the way up. Do 20 reps.
Read more: 10 Upper-Body Exercise Swaps to Amp Up Your Results
12. STRENGTH: Push-Up
A park bench or step is the perfect place to work on building your chest, shoulder and core strength.
HOW TO DO IT: Place hands about shoulder-width apart on top of a step or bench and walk feet out into a full plank position, bracing your abs tightly. Perform a push-up, trying to tap chest to bench (avoid letting your hips sag). Make it easier by opening feet wider or harder by putting your feet on the bench and hands on the ground. Do 20 reps.
Read more: 24 Essential Push-Up Variations for Total-Body Strength
13. CARDIO: Sprint
Sprint for the finish line with this final cardio drill!
HOW TO DO IT: Run as fast as possible for as long as you can, driving your arms back and forth to help power your pace. At this pace, you shouldn't be able to go for longer than one minute.
14. Cool Down
Walk or jog at an easy pace until your breathing has returned to normal. If you have more time, feel free to do a few of these stretches for runners (see the link below) to wrap up your workout.
Read more: The Best Stretches for Runners
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