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Pre-run exercises

Home Exercises for Runners

A houseplant sits on the floor between a single dumbbell and a kettlebell.

Sometimes it’s just not feasible or desirable to train outdoors. Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey shares a sweat-inducing routine you can do inside.

Work(out) from home

Bad weather? Traveling in an area that lacks familiar or safe running paths? Alien invasion? Whatever your reason for taking your training indoors, we’ve got your back. Having a set indoor routine can keep you on track to hit any running goal.

An illustration of a woman doing V-ups on a yoga mat in her living room surrounded by houseplants, an abstract art painting, and a poster that says “Run Happy.

If you’re planning on working out indoors, be sure to make extra room to move. No one likes stubbed toes and bumped knees. Plus, clearing out some space will give you a full range of motion so you can make the most of stretches and exercises. The indoors are typically warmer, too, so opt for lighter gear.

The routine

Led by coach Danny Mackey, the Brooks Beasts include Olympic hopefuls in distances from the 800m to the 5,000m. Follow Mackey’s indoor training routine, which he says targets running muscles that can get neglected over time.

1. Power pushups, 14 reps

Fast on the way up, slow 3-second count on the way down. Go from the knees if you need to.

2. Pogos, 30-40 reps

Think of jumping rope, but without the rope.

3. Supine plank with single leg raise, 10 reps each leg

Plank from your elbows or hands.

An animated gif of a man demonstrating supine planks.

4. V-Ups, 20 reps

A crunch, but make it a V, with your arms and legs straight out. You can also substitute traditional crunches.

An animated gif of a woman demonstrating V-ups.

5. Supermans, 14 reps

Lay face down. Lift your arms and legs simultaneously about a foot off the ground while keeping them straight. Lower your arms and legs to the ground in a slow, controlled motion.

6. Burpees, 8-12 reps

We bet you already know this classic exercise: Stand. Squat. Plank. Stand. Repeat!

7. Jumping jacks, 30–40 reps

Pair these with the burpees to get you breathing hard.

8. Knee to elbow strikes,20 reps on each side

In a table plank position on your hands and knees, bring your knee to the opposite elbow, then switch sides.

An animated gif of a man demonstrating knee to elbow strikes.

9. Hindu squats, 12 reps

Begin in normal body weight squat starting position. On the way down, bring your heels off the floor and reach your arms behind you. Fun fact: Hindu squats or bathaks, along with Hindu push ups, have been a staple conditioning exercise used by Hindu wrestlers for centuries.

An animated gif of a woman demonstrating Hindu squats.

10. Speed skaters, 20 reps

Start with your feet together and jump to the side, landing on one foot. Switch directions after 10 reps. Channel the low stance of a speed skater — but without the skates.

11. Lunge jumps, 6 reps on each leg

Lower yourself into a standard lunge, then jump as high as you can, landing with the other leg out front. Repeat.

12. Lateral planks with leg raises, 12 reps

Start in the side plank position. Slowly lift your upper leg, keeping it straight, away from your lower leg, and return.

An animated gif of a woman demonstrating lateral planks with leg raises.

Tips from Coach Mackey:

  • Keep the rest between exercises short. This will increase heart rate, mimicking some of the effects you get from running. Short rests between exercises will help maintain your aerobic fitness.
  • I like to think of this as a circuit, so do as many sets as you have time for, 2-4 total.
  • If you do this workout consecutively for multiple days, start with a lower number so you are not sore and can repeat or add a set the next day.