I love to run. I love the repetitive impact of the ground underneath my feet when I find my perfect pace. I love the wind in my face. And, I love pushing through the wall.

 

But, as great as running is, I don’t feel it’s a good idea to make it your only source of exercise. I think building up your strength is probably beneficial as well.

 

The problem is that since my first love is long distance running, I don’t want to be some giant Olympic power lifting. I want to have a stronger body, but I don’t want to sacrifice my “runner’s frame.”

 

What kind of strength training can I do that isn’t going to cause me to bulk up and cause me problems? The quick answer to that is body weight exercises.

 

When I only use my body as the resistance part of strength training, I don’t have to worrying about doing anything that would lead to an unusual or unbalanced frame. It’s actually very natural.

 

Here are 3 of the most common, and most useful:

 

Push Ups

 

Almost everyone know what a push up is. It’s probably the most commonly known exercise everywhere. But, what makes it great for runners is that push ups really focus on your core.

 

Sure, your arms and chest get work too, but in order to keep that plank position through each set, you need a strong firm core. So, while you are working your arms, you are also working you abs.

 

This also hits your back and shoulders a little too, which as anyone who has any long distance run experiences knows, is actually kind of important too.

 

You can start the position from your knees at first, and then go to your toes when you are most comfortable. And, remember to take the first few days easy, as your body might not be used to working certain muscle groups.

 

Pull Ups

 

Pull ups are another great body weight exercise for runners. It’s another primarily upper body exercise, but it also targets the core. If you don’t believe me, just try to do one. You’ll feel just how quickly your abs engage.

 

There are two problems though that pull ups have that push up do not.

The first is that they are much harder to do. You might just hang there struggling to even get one pull up. But, don’t give up. Over time you’ll do better and better.

 

The other problem is you need a piece of equipment. If you belong to a gym, they should have a place to do them. If you don’t you can always get a bar for your doorway so you can do them at home. They are fairly inexpensive, so you won’t be out much money.

 

Although they are tough, this is one exercise you shouldn’t skip.

 

Squats

 

The squat has made a comeback over the past few years. With many women looking to increase the size of the butt, the squat is all over YouTube.

 

This is another exercise you do not need to use any kind of weights with to see benefits. It’s great for your thighs and of course as already stated, your read end.

 

The fact that squats work your legs makes it great for running. And, by skipping the weights, it won’t slow your down or kill your endurance. In fact, it should give you a little more kick.

 

I have started adding all three of these to my weekly routine, and I think as the winter months approach, now is the perfect time to do so. I am really excited to see how my body develops over the next six months.