The 10 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Running

It is very clear that runners can effectively use resistance bands for their strength training. In this article I aim to discuss both the positives and negatives of using resistance bands for your strength training, while also providing a large variety of exercises you can use in your sessions.

7 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
31/01/24
Last updated
31/01/24
In This Resource
  • Benefits of Resistance Band Exercises for Runners
  • Effective Training Tool
  • Training at Home
  • Training While Travelling
  • Inexpensive Investment
  • Negatives of Resistance Bands Exercises for Runners
  • Missing Some Key Movement Patterns
  • Difficult to Apply Overload
  • Difficult to Apply Progressive Overload
  • The 10 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Running
  • References

It is very clear that runners can effectively use resistance bands for their strength training. In this article I aim to discuss both the positives and negatives of using resistance bands for your strength training, while also providing a large variety of exercises you can use in your sessions.

Benefits of Resistance Band Exercises for Runners

Effective Training Tool

It’s sure that resistance bands are an effective resistance training tool, as seen in many studies (1). It is also widely accepted that resisteance training can be very beneficial for runners through improving running economy. Therefore runners can use resistance bands to great effect to both improve health and performance. Resistance bands are able to create the muscle activation as seen with free weights. That means that they should not be underestimated as an effective training tool for runners.

Training at Home

One of the biggest advantages to training with a resistance band is it gives you the ability to train at home. Runners, typically, are not massive fans of gym environments. This is a shame and says a lot about some of the potential negative aspects of the culture of gyms. If you can find a gym that you enjoy training at, then great, but if you want to train at home thats great too. Resistance bands are a must for any home training set up, especially if you can invest in multiple with differing band tensions.

Training While Travelling

Another huge benefit of using resistance bands to train is their ability to be used while traveling. For a runner, this means all you need is a band, your running shoes and some exercises clothes and you can continue your programme as normal. Some people don’t like to train when they travel, but others love it, so resistance bands can be a huge advantage. Personally, I love running when i’m travelling, I only do low intensity runs so I can explore where I am staying. A resistance band means I can also keep strength training in an interesting and fun way whilst i’m away on vacation.

Inexpensive Investment

Not only can it save you a gym membership every month, it is also very inexpensive compared to other forms of strength training equipment. If your training on a strict budget then this can be one of the best options available to you.

Negatives of Resistance Bands Exercises for Runners

Missing Some Key Movement Patterns

Resistance bands are great, they offer a huge variety of movements, as seen in our movement library where we have 67 exercises that are done with bands. However, they are missing some exercises on crucial movement patterns that are very effective for runners and are in almost every running strength and conditioning training plans. The most notable being lunges. Lunges are considered a must of a running strength training programme and bands cannot effectively be used to load the lunge position. Yes, bodyweight lunges can be done, but that comes to our next issue, applying overload.

Difficult to Apply Overload

Overload is when we apply a stress to our body through resistance or cardiovascular training in order to create an adaptation. This adaptation is created through the stress (overload) being placed on it. Without overload we cannot create adaptation, making training a little pointless. For many individuals resistance bands will not be able to create enough of a stimulus to cause adaptation. It is very rare that you will see someone who is in great shape just using resistance bands to train. That being said, for runners basic needs, training with just resistance bands is dramatically better than no training at all.

Difficult to Apply Progressive Overload

If applying overload is difficult, applying progressive overload is even more difficult. Progressive overload is where the stress placed on the body is incrementally increased overtime. With resistance bands, especially if you do not have different band tensions, this can be a difficult task. This is why considering adding in some different exercise equipment into your training can be an excellent idea, a few dumbbells and kettlebells can make all the difference.

The 10 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Running

References

  • Saeterbakken, Atle H.1; Andersen, Vidar1; Kolnes, Maria K.1; Fimland, Marius S.2,3. Effects of Replacing Free Weights With Elastic Band Resistance in Squats on Trunk Muscle Activation. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 28(11):p 3056-3062, November 2014. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000516
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    This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

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