Post by: Mary Lambkin, Swiftwick ambassador.
Although I love doing solo runs and finding my zen on a jog alone, for strength training I really need a group and instructor to get me going. I’ve tried about 20 different exercise classes in my day (reviews here!). Here are some of my favorite exercise classes for runners — and some of my least favorites, too
I always thought Pilates was lame because it’s low-impact and lower intensity than other workouts, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Try this workout from Greatist for a start.
I can’t say that I love doing yoga, but I do love the way it makes me feel afterwards! It’s no secret that yoga benefits runners and can reduce your exposure to injury. One of my all-time favorite yoga classes is this Yoga for Runners video from YogaDownload. It’s only 35 minutes long (more like 25 if you skip some of the sivasana/warm up) and perfect to squeeze in after a run or over your lunch break.
Love TRX and wish there was a good class near me! I think I’m still sore from the TRX class I did in DC three years ago. This post gives a good overview of why TRX is great for runners (and apparently for weight loss because it’s always on The Biggest Loser?). The TRX brand itself has even developed a workout specifically for runners. Give it a shot.
4. Boot camp
“Boot camp” is a pretty broad term, but I’m basically talking about any high-intensity/interval/body weight-style type of workout. These are my favorite types of exercise classes — I go to one boot camp class at my local gym just about every Tuesday. Because the workouts are different every week, you get to strengthen a lot of different muscles at once and get a full-body workout. I know I rave about this app all the time, but Nike Training Club has excellent boot camp-style workouts!
I’m not sure there is much data on kickboxing and running, but I have found a few bits of evidence that kickboxing builds better runners. I’ve only been to a handful of kickboxing classes during my fitness adventures, but all the ones I’ve been to have been SO tough (in a good way!) and seem to target my typical runner weak spots (hips, core, and glutes). Try a class (I really enjoyed HotBox fitness here in Nashville) and see if you survive.
And now, just for fun, here are some of my LEAST favorite workouts as a runner:
Barre: I’ll probably get some backlash for this, but I generally find barre kind of boring and I never seem to get a good workout from it.
CrossFit: Well, here’s the story about why that one didn’t work for me.
Pound: Has anyone else tried this workout? I did a class the other month and thought it was plain silly.
Spin: I like a good spin class, but I don’t think that spin really benefits me as a runner. More of a cardio workout and seems to use many of the same muscles running does.
Yoga: I know I listed this as a favorite, but it’s also one of my least favorites! Love-hate relationship
What are your favorite and least favorite exercise classes? Comment below!