May 22, 2024

Ask A Pro by Tera Busker

Question: I’m training for my first 5K. What exercises are the most important for me to do in the gym? –Carla from Nashville, TN

Answer: Too many times, runners think that they should only focus on running to improve in their sport. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a beginner in moderate physical condition, running a 5K, you should run at least three times per week and strength train twice per week. Here are a few great exercises that will improve your running.

Stability Wall Ball Squats
Place Stability Ball between your lower back and a wall. Lean against the ball with your feet firmly planted about 12” in front of you. Lower your body, bending at the hip and knees and perform a squat. Don’t exceed 90 degrees at the knee. Keeping the weight in your heels, straighten legs and return back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Inverted Row using the Smith Machine
On the Smith Machine, set the bar to two or three feet above ground. Lie on your back and grab the bar, palms facing you. Keep your body straight, elbows against your sides as you pull your chest toward the bar. Bend your knees for an easier lift. Do three sets of 10 to 15.

Walking Lunges
With your right leg, lunge forward about three feet until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee is nearly touching the ground. Pause momentarily and then repeat the forward motion with your left leg. Lunge forward for 15 reps and turn around and lunge back for 15 reps. Do three sets of 15 on each leg.

Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Bird Dog
On your hands and knees, raise up your left arm and right leg, parallel to the floor. Keep your back and neck straight, stomach pulled in during the entire range of motion. Hold for a count of 1, and then change sides. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

Plank into Side Plank with Twist
From a push-up position, drop to your forearms, keeping your legs straight and your stomach pulled in. Hold for 30 seconds. Transition into a side plank, placing your top hand behind your head. Keeping abs tight and hips lifted off the floor, bring your top elbow toward the ground. Do five repetitions on each side. Do three sets.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI.