This five-exercise workout is designed to be performed once or twice a week. Perform all five exercises for one set. Do three to five sets with two minutes’ rest between sets. Do this workout after a short warmup jog on an easy-running or non-running day.
Reverse Lunge with Lower Quad Muscle Emphasis
SETUP: Place one foot inside your circular band with the opposite end around a secure anchor point, at roughly knee height. Face the anchor point and walk backward until the band becomes tight.
HOW: Take a big step backward with your non-banded leg, land on the balls of your feet and bring your rear knee toward the floor to perform a reverse lunge. Notice the band tension reduce slightly. Press your front foot down to return you to standing. At the top of the lunge, squeeze your thigh muscle to recreate tension in the band. This equals one rep.
DO: Perform 15 reps per leg, then move on to the next exercise.
Half Kneeling Single-Arm Banded Row
SETUP: With the resistance band still anchored at roughly knee height, kneel on a cushion with your right knee and hold one end of your circular band with your left hand. Your left foot should be flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your right glute and push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your right hip flexor. Brace your abs and keep your body here throughout the exercise.
HOW: Start with your left arm straight out in front of you. Next, pull the band toward you while focusing on moving your left shoulder blade toward your spine. At the peak of the back-muscle squeeze, your elbow should be just behind your torso and your wrist just beside your ribs. Make sure not to shrug your shoulder in this position. Let your arm straighten out and let your shoulder blade move away from your spine. This equals one rep.
DO: Perform 15 reps per arm, then move on to the next exercise.
Banded Romanian Deadlifts
SETUP: Stand inside your circular band, facing away from the anchor point. Place the band around your hips and walk forward until tension is created in the band. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
HOW: Bend both knees slightly and bend over at your hips. Keep your back neutral (straight) while pushing your tailbone back and up. Approach a 90-degree hip angle with your chest parallel to the floor. You should feel tension in both hamstrings. Notice the band tension decrease here. Next, return to standing and lean slightly forward from your ankles when you reach the top. Squeeze your glutes to push your hips into the band to recreate band tension. This equals one rep.
DO: Perform 15 reps, then move on to the next exercise.
Band-Resisted Slow Mountain-Climber
SETUP: Facing away from the anchor point, get into the top of a push-up (i.e., a high plank) and place one foot inside the band. With the anchor point behind your feet, place the band so that it sits over your shoelaces. Then move a little away from the anchor point to create tension in the band.
HOW: Bring your knee with the band around your shoe toward your torso without moving your body. Try to bring your knee as close to your torso as you can. Pause in this position for two seconds. Then return your foot to the starting position. This equals one rep.
DO: Perform two mini-sets of eight two-second holds per leg, then move on to the last exercise.
Exercise 5 X-Band Walk
SETUP: Stand on the band with your feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Hold the middle of the band and crisscross the band in front of your legs. Stand tall with your knees straight and bend your elbows to pull your wrists towards your hips. This will create tension in the band.
HOW: Take one-inch steps sideways. Keep tension in the band and do not let your feet move closer than shoulder-width apart. Don’t lean too far sideways as you walk, and make sure not to drag your trailing foot.
DO: Perform 15 one-inch steps to the left, then to the right. Repeat this four times. Then return to the first exercise. Complete three to five complete sets of five exercises per workout.
Jon-Erik Kawamoto, MSc, CSCS, CEP, is a strength and conditioning coach, regular contributor to Canadian Running and co-owner of JKConditioning, a personal training, nutrition and run coaching company in St. John’s, N.L. Find out more at JKConditioning.com.