Ways to Strengthen Your Body Without Working Out May 16, 2017 08:20

After these habits and motions have become ingrained, every run works to improve our skill, flexibility, strength, and ability to maintain a more effective stride.

posture mobility and strength

More important and more successful than adding elements to your running routine is the process of integrating posture, mobility, and strength work into your everyday life. You can work on many of these skills all day, every day. 

Most of the stretches and exercises can be integrated into your everyday life outside of running. Here are a few suggestions.

Balance on one foot when brushing your teeth

One of the most common suggestions seems almost too easy. This time is already scheduled and you likely don't need the mind space to focus on the act of brushing. The trick is remembering to do it early in the morning, and making it habitual. 

balance while brushing teeth

Balance on one foot while putting on your socks and shoes

Don't sit. Stand and balance on one leg while you reach for and pull on your sock, then your shoe. Stay balanced while you tie the laces. Then switch feet and repeat. Alternate which foot you start with, so that each day you're balancing barefoot on a different side.

Do glute exercises as part of your morning coffee or tea routine

When I bought a hand-crank coffee grinder a few years ago, I started doing air squats during the time it took me to grind the beans. Now I can finish 15 to 20 squats while cranking enough for an espresso. It was the first time I was ever that consistent, and it made a huge difference in my glute strength and activation. Now I can't grind without doing squats. It's part of the same action in my mind.

morning coffee

Caspar Coppetti, one of the founders of On shoes in Switzerland, does clamshells while his espresso is brewing. "I'd like to just drink the coffee," he says. But he tells himself, "If you don't do the clams, you don't get the coffee." He credits the resulting strength and form improvement with saving his running.

Be creative, but find something you'll do that doesn't require a decision everyday. Make it part of your quotidian routine.

Do hip extension stretches while working on your computer

Just push the chair to the side and kneel on one knee in front of your desk. Get your hip rotated and hold it while you check email. Five minutes per side goes quickly during the workday. You can do it 2 or 3 times: in the morning, after lunch, and during your final few, last-check minutes of the day.

glute exercise at desk

Do a standing hip stretch while on a conference call

Lift one leg onto your chair, make yourself tall, and push forward on the supporting hip. No one can see you, and it doesn't require heavy breathing. Or balance on alternating legs—just make sure you don't lose your balance, fall, and make a crash.

quite workout