If you’ve mastered the basic leg strengthening routine for runners, it’s time to ramp up the intensity just a bit by adding a medicine ball to the mix. Medicine balls range in weight from about 4 lbs to about 50 lbs, so as these exercises become easier, you can just shift to a heavier medicine ball.
Medicine Ball Squat and Throw
This exercise works a lot of your body, but there’s a big emphasis on your quadriceps muscle. Throwing the ball brings an added element of power to the exercises. Focus on coiling into the squat position slowly and then exploding out of it as you launch the ball.
Medicine Ball Lunge with Twist
This lunge will work your quadriceps and gluteal muscles as well as your obliques, giving you a little bit of a core workout too.
Medicine Ball Plank with Abduction & Adduction
The balance aspect of this exercise helps stabilize your core while also working on the very important muscles of your hip girdle. By strengthening your core muscles and your hip girdle, you’ll run with more efficiency and be less prone to injury.
Reaching Single Leg Deadlift
This exercise is a variation of the single leg deadlift I introduced in the basic leg strengthening routine. The weight of the ball held far from your body will force your hamstrings and lower back to work hard to keep you from falling over.
Medicine Ball Jump Squats
These jump squats will help you develop power in your thighs, your butt and your calves. Because of the high impacts involved with this exercise, make sure you’ve got a good base of leg strength before performing the medicine ball jump squats.