While pumping iron might seem like the best way to challenge your strength and clocking miles might seem like the go-to for improving endurance, you can also make gains in both forms of fitness with a bodyweight workout. These no-equipment exercises, performed anywhere, can help improve your running mechanics, allowing you to tackle the road with confidence.

That’s why certified running coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City, Raj Hathiramani, designed this bodyweight workout. It helps you build the strength and endurance you need to take on longer distances.

The Benefits of This Bodyweight Workout for Runners

Practicing the exercises listed below can help support long running efforts by training your muscles to stave off fatigue. “These exercises not only strengthen key muscle groups for running, but they also help improve your muscular endurance,” Hathiramani says. In other words, you train your muscles to withstand the work for prolonged periods of time, just as you do on the road or trails.

Hathiramani also made sure that all the exercises included in this list mimic running patterns, so you can improve your form and work to prevent common running injuries.

How to use this list: In the video above, Hathiramani demonstrates each exercise so you can learn the proper form. Complete each exercise in the order listed below for the number of repetitions described. Perform 3 sets, with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between each set.

You will not need any equipment for this workout, but an exercise mat is optional.

1. Jump Squat

jump squat
Raj Hathiramani

Why it works: Practicing this explosive exercise is great for runners, Hathiramani says because it will activate your glutes, quads, and calves—the prime movers of your stride.

How to do it: Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, and arms down by sides. Send hips back and down, bending knees to lower into a squat. Explosively jump up off the ground, while swinging arms forward for momentum. Land softly and immediately lower into the next squat. Repeat. Do 10 reps.

2. Lateral Lunge to Butt Kick

lateral lunge to butt kick
Raj Hathiramani

Why it works: This is the perfect combination of exercises, because it can help you develop an efficient footstrike and increase your stride rate, all while strengthening your hips, says Hathiramani.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a big step to the left with left foot. Bend left knee and send hips back and down, weight in heel. Keep right leg straight, chest lifted. Drive through left foot to stand back up. Repeat on right side. Then, lift right heel to glutes, while driving left arm forward and right arm back. Then, lift right heel to glutes, while driving right arm forward, left arm back. Continue alternating butt kicks for 5 seconds. This is one rep. Do 10 reps.

3. Reverse Lunge to A-Skip

reverse lunge to askip
Raj Hathiramani

Why it works: An exercise that closely mimics running form, this one also strengthens your hamstrings, calves, and quads.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and hands down by sides. Step back with right foot, bending both knees about 90 degrees so back right knee hovers just off the ground and front thigh is parallel to floor, left knee over toes. Drive through left foot to stand up, and then drive right foot up toward chest while hopping on ball of left foot. Step right foot back down. This is one rep. Do 10 reps on each side.

4. Plank Hold to Mountain Climber

plank hold to mountain climber
Raj Hathiramani

Why it works: Fire up your core with this dynamic duo. Hathiramani says this move will improve your knee drive for faster runs.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrist and feet hip-width apart. Hold for 10 seconds, then drive right knee toward chest, then step it back to plank. Then drive left knee to chest, and step it back to plank. Continue alternating to complete 10 total reps for mountain climbers. This is one full rep. Do 10 reps of the plank hold, plus climbers.

5. Side Plank With Leg Lift and Hip Dip

side plank with leg lift and hip dip
Raj Hathiramani

Why it works: Target your upper and lower body, along with your obliques, in this total-body exercise.

How to do it: Start lying on left side, left forearm on the ground with elbow directly under shoulder. Stack shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Engage core and lift hips off floor. This is your starting position. Raise right leg up. Then, slowly lower it back down. Then, dip hips toward floor, and raise them back up to starting position. Repeat. Do 10 reps. Then switch sides.

Headshot of Monique Lebrun
Monique Lebrun

Monique LeBrun joined the editorial staff in October 2021 as the associate health and fitness editor. She has a master’s degree in journalism and has previously worked for ABC news and Scholastic. She is an avid runner who loves spending time outside.