Upper-Body Workout That Can Help You Pick Up Speed

Upper-Body Workout That Can Help You Pick Up Speed

Yes it’s time to fire up your arms, back, and shoulders. You must be thinking uh an upper-body workout for runners? I know, it sounds a bit pointless because running is a leg sport so training other muscles won’t do anything. However, that’s not the point, running is a full body activity so upper body strength does matter.

Having a strong upper body is important, because it improves your efficiency. You should think of your upper body as your support base when running. If your upper body is weak, it can weaken your stability and control. Do you know what else a weak upper body can do? It can contribute to pain while you are running. But think about this? When your upper body muscles are strong you can maintain proper posture and running form while also reducing pain and fatigue.

With these benefits in mind, you as a runner should schedule upper-body strength workout 1-3 days a week. You should mostly focus on the back, chest and shoulders. These muscles are important for stability. While doing that don’t forget to work on your biceps and triceps as well.

The Workouts

Things you’ll need;

  • An exercise mat
  • Set of dumbbells


  • Z press
  • Pullover
  • Cross-body single-arm curl
  • Alternating single-arm chest press
  • Triceps kickback in plank


  • Do 8-12 reps of each exercise.
  • Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Move onto the next exercise.
  • Do the entire circuit 3 times, resting 1 minute in between

Z Press

  • Sit with your legs straight in front of you, with your torso facing upright, and heels dug into the floor.
  • Engage your core and hold a light dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing each other. Then place the weights at your shoulders.
  • Press the weights up as you straighten your arms, as you keep your back straight. Resist the urge to lean back.
  • Return the weights to the starting position. Do 8-12 reps.


  • Lie on your side on a mat with a heavy dumbbell in front of you.
  • Grab the weight with both hands and hold it to your chest, then turn flat on your back.
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  • Grip the dumbbell securely at each side with each hand.
  • Lift it into the air directly above your shoulders, keeping your arms straight.
  • Slowly bring the dumbbell over your head then gently touch it to the floor.
  • Bring the weight back to starting position, engaging your core as you move the weight. That’s 1 rep. Do 8-12 reps.

Cross-Body Single-Arm Curl

  • Start with your arms at your sides, holding a light dumbbell in each hand with a hammer grip (palms facing each other).
  • Keeping your palms facing each other, make a circle with your right hand from your right shoulder to your left shoulder, then to your left hip, then to your right hip, drawing a C as the weight crosses the body.
  • That’s 1 rep. Do 8-12 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Alternating Single-Arm Chest Press

  • Lie face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a heavier dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your legs and your elbows on the floor bent at 90 degrees so that the weights are in the air.
  • Press one weight toward the ceiling, straightening your elbow completely and keeping your palm facing your legs.
  • Slowly bend your elbow and lower it back down to the floor.
  • Now, do the same thing with your other arm. That’s 1 rep. Do 8-12 reps.

Triceps Kickback in Plank

  • With light dumbbells in your hands, walk your body out to high plank position.
  • Once in a plank, raise your right elbow to your rib cage, arm bent.
  • Straighten your arm to perform a kickback. Try to keep your hips as stable as possible.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • That’s 1 rep. Do 8-12 reps.

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