Wednesday I posted a series of stretching exercises to do before each of your walks/runs (if you are starting out following this program but it also important to strengthen your body (especially your running muscles) so here is a set of exercises that you should do when you are finished your walk/run.  All you need to do is find a park bench somewhere at the end of your run and spend 5 to 10 minutes doing these exercises.

1 – Squat to a forward lunge.  Start with a squat and as you stand up lift up 1 leg and then step forward into a forward lunge.  Push yourself back up to standing on 1 leg then back into a squat.  Repeat this 10 times on 1 side then 10 times on the other.  Each time you do this exercise make sure you start with the opposite leg.  For example, if you start lunging with your right leg on Monday, then Wednesday start with your left leg.  This exercise trains your legs in a multitude of plains.

2 – Push up into a star bridge.  Using a bench, position your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your body weight positioned directly on top of your hands.  Lower your body towards the bench while keeping your chest positioned between your hands, until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees or lower.  After you have pushed your body up, lift up one arm and leg towards the sky as you rotate into a star position and hold this position for about 5 seconds. Complete 10-12 reps, alternating between your right and left side. This exercise will strengthen your core and upper body and glutes.

3 – Walking Lunge.  Making sure your knee never extends over you toe in this exercise, do 8-10 walking lunges in 1 direction, turn around and lunge back.  Keep your upper body tall, your shoulders positioned directly over your hips and about 80 percent of the work should be completed by the leg that is in front.  This is a great exercise to strengthen all of your leg and hip muscles.

4 – Single Leg Dead Lift – This is a great exercise to help improve your glute strength, your balance and your hamstring flexibility.  Standing on 1 leg you will slowly lower your body towards the ground as you reach your arm out in front of you.  It is very important that you maintain a straight line from your heel to the top of your head and if your upper body is lowering, your leg is rising.  As soon as you are no longer able maintain a flat back, return to the standing position by activating your hamstrings and glutes, staying on 1 leg.  Repeat 10-15 on 1 side then switch to the other leg.

5 – Step Ups.  This is another great exercise to strengthen your leg and hip muscles.  Place 1 foot up on a bench and drive up the opposite knee, making sure that the knee of the leg you are stepping up on does not extend past your toe and stays in line with your big toe, your body remains tall and as you lower yourself back down you do it with control.  Repeat 10-15 on 1 leg then repeat on the other side.