4 upper body exercises for running

upper limbs. We invite you to learn how to train your upper body to improve your running performance. 4 upper body exercises for running.

To run, you need to have your whole body in shape, including your upper limbs. We invite you to learn how to train your upper body to improve your running performance. 4 upper body exercises for running.

No, you™re not a bad read: we™re going to talk about upper body exercises, not lower body exercises. But why ? While training the upper body for running seems illogical to many people, the torso and its relative extremities are also important in this practice. Find out how they can help you!

Here are some important reasons to consider such a workout, as well as a series of exercises that are recommended to be included in upper body routines.

Do you train your upper body to run?

Most runners tend to focus on training the lower body, leaving out the torso, back and arms. In the long term, this can cause a significant imbalance in the body, leading to poor execution of the race and, as a result, various injuries.


Of course, you have to train your upper body to run. However, it is necessary to differentiate the type of training that needs to be done. To play speed sports like track and field, you don't need to have enlarged arms.

The best way to do this is to tone them up and get the right mass to improve strength. In addition, the torso muscles must be in excellent condition to avoid imbalances and poor technique.

Training your upper body for running actually offers the following benefits:

  • Strengthening the torso, which helps to exert more strength in the lower limbs.
  • More toned and slimmer arms for momentum while running.
  • Low probability of imbalances and injuries.
  • Better protection in the joint areas, which receive a strong impact when running.
  • Decrease in energy expenditure when performing the technical gesture.
  • Upper body exercises for running

Therefore, it is essential to have a series of exercises to train before running. To help you add them to your routine - for which we also recommend consulting your coach - we'll show you a series of alternatives. Take note and practice them!


This exercise strengthens the core area, especially the back area, which is essential when running. To do this, you have to lie down with your arms and legs extended.

Then both ends are lifted symmetrically, contracting the articalerior muscles of the back; when finished, return to the starting position. It is important to always keep your eyes straight in front of you when performing this exercise.

Exercise with bar

Traditional exercises with a barbell are also a good alternative to strengthen the upper limbs, shoulders and part of the torso. Commonly referred to as "pull-ups," these can be done in any setting.

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Both hands are thus resting on a bench of about 40 centimeters. The legs are supported by another of the same height. From there, the arms should be flexed 90 °, bringing the glutes as low as possible. Finally, return to the starting position.

Side plank with leg elevation

As the torso is very important when running, it is advisable to resort to exercises that help to strengthen it; without a doubt, the board is one of them.

To perform this exercise, you need to take two points of support: the forearms and the toes. In addition, the back, head and legs should be aligned.

The plank is performed by kicking the legs, that is, lifting the upper leg. At the end of the series, continue by switching sides.

Performing the exercises

As is always recommended, each person should adapt the exercises according to their routine. However, in general we can take into account the following parameters:

  • Perform three sets of each exercise.
  • Rest between 60 and 90 seconds between sets.
  • Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Finally, do not forget the warm-up and cool-down phase, respectively before and after the routine.

Train your upper body, not just your legs for running

The body works as a whole, and although some sports, such as running, require more effort from the lower limbs, the rest of the body should never be overlooked. In addition, the technical gesture requires an adequate asymmetry between the arms and the legs to better execute each movement.

For this reason, training routines for runners should contain an appropriate time when there is cohesion between the upper and lower body. Incorporate these tips to be a better runner!