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15min Leg Workout for Runners: Get Injury-Proof with Stronger Quads, Glutes, Calves + Core

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

I'm not gonna lie.


At least that's how I felt when I first began to look at different strength circuits "designed" for runners.

  • body weight lunges.

  • air squats.

  • double leg bridges.

How are these supposed to make you, a runner who covers anywhere from 20 to 60 miles a week, "injury proof" and "stronger"??

You're soaring up and down hills.

Crushing tempo runs

Stretching your limits with long runs.

You're at the point where you see a "miles to exit" sign on the highway and think "oh hey, I could run that!" (if you know, you know).

You freaking DESERVE BETTER.

Because here's the truth:

just like constantly running 3.1 miles over and over and over again will NOT prepare you to run a marathon...

The exact same, simple body weight exercises will NOT keep you injury proof as your running progresses and gets better.

As your running training intensity increase, your strength training must also progress.

So I wanted to help make this strength training part easier for you.

As simple and painless and NOT-overwhelming-at all!-as possible.

Because your long runs already take hours of your time.

You don't have the luxury of combing through google or youtube trying to mash together a strength program for yourself.

So I did it for you :)

Let's jump into the a LEG DAY that will make you UNBREAKABLE.

Leg Workout for Runners: Injury Proof Quads, Glutes, Calves + Core


3 sets each // medium & heavy weights + a step

High Step Ups

  • x8 each leg (R and L, unweighted)

Split Squats with chop/lift

  • x12 ea leg (heavy weight)

Single Leg Bridge with Overhead (OH) Pull over

  • x10 ea leg (medium weight)

15 mins Workout for Runners to Stronger & Injury Proof Legs: EXPLAINATION

High Step Ups

  • these are unweighted for a reason. The "weight" or training load in this exercise is YOU and the height of your step.

  • In a perfect world, you have a box of various heights. In the real world, you have a ottoman or a staircase. Just get the job done.

  • THE SECRET: moving fast, explosively, with control! This exercise is about the sequence of the running movement and it's speed and power as much as it is about leg strength. You become a faster, stronger, more injury resistant runner as your strength training paves the way to that goal.

Split Squat with Chop/Lift

  • Not every exercise needs to be a combination of 2 exercises smooshed into one. (I see a lot of fitness gurus/influencers etc just smashing stuff together).

  • But this one serves a specific purpose: to strengthen your legs and core in a position that looks like and mimics the movement of running.

  • By doing this: you are targeting your quads, glutes, and calves in a reciprocal leg position while a weight pulls your core into and out of the same subtle rotation you experience with every stride while running.

  • Train your body in a way that looks and mimics running to prepare it for the exact challenge you're training for!

Single Leg Bridge with Overhead (OH) Pull over

  • I not-so-secretly love these ;)

  • The obvious question: can you see how the single leg position looks like running but on your back? Your glutes and hamstrings are working hard in this position, but if you're like me and you need a little extra "oomph", elevate that front foot onto an exercise step or footstool. I promise your glutes will say hi ;)

  • Pulling the weight overhead asks your single leg doing the work to also maintain and establish stability along side your core. Work smarter not harder for that extra core work ;)

Wrapping Up

I can promise you this: You WON'T BE BORED with these ;)

Even better news: you'll begin building leg strength (and some sneaky core strength) I can only WISH I had when I first started running.

Because here's the truth:

I hear a lot of runners say they don't like strength training.

Is it really that you don't like it?

Or that the stuff served up to you on the internet and in magazines bores you out of your mind because you're craving the challenge that running provides? (almost instantly sometimes lol).

Or maybe it's too confusing,


looks like it takes too much time

and leaves you too sore for days?

If you're looking around to make sure I'm not lurking over your shoulder, don't worry. I've gone through these same mental gymnastics.

That's why I want to provide easy, accessible workouts for you.

Because you deserve better.

If you're looking for even more ways to Dare to Train Differently, grab my FREE Strength Guide for Runners HERE!

Until next time running fit fam.

Dare to Train Differently,

Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //

P.S. no really, it's 100% Free. Grab my Free Strength Guide For Runners!

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