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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > April 2019 - Pace, Power, Passion... > Putting in the legwork

Putting in the legwork

Strengthen your legs and get your kinetic chain working in unison to guard against injury and muscle imbalances, with exercise scientist Anne-Marie Lategan

Strong leg muscles are key for good running technique and alignment. Because running is a constant linear movement it’s important to add additional leg strength exercises to prevent any muscle imbalances. Focusing on your inner thighs, outer thighs and bottom will guard against your muscles developing an imbalance. Increasing the strength and explosive power in your leg muscles will increase your speed and help you to reach your personal best.

Warm up

Jog on the spot for one minute. Swing your leg from side to side and then forwards and backwards to mobilise your hips. Perform 10 body-weight squats and finish off with another minute jogging on the spot. Your warm up should be around five minutes long.

Sets and reps

Perform two sets of 20 repetitions and perform the workout around twice a week.

Cool down

It’s important to stretch your front and back thigh muscles as well as your glutes (bottom). The reason for this is that tightness in these areas is the main cause for most running injuries and it can also lead to muscle imbalances.


To work harder, perform three sets instead of two. Once you feel comfortable at this level increase the weight. By increasing weight you overload your muscle forcing it to become stronger. Another way of increasing intensity is to do it after a running session. Training your legs when muscles are fatigued will make the workout significantly harder.

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About Women’s Running

Whether you’ve just run your first few steps, or you’re planning your next ultramarathon, Women’s Running is your virtual coach: here to offer inspiration, advice and support, whatever your journey. We have reviews of all the latest kit, including support shoes and sports bras, as well as your essential leg workout to help you run stronger than ever. We’ve got interviews with intrepid London Marathon runners, including Nell McAndrew, as well as with our cover star, Megan, who is the first hearing impaired person to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. That’s a thousand miles, all told! And this month, we’ve explored the world of hormones, from puberty to menopause and everything in-between, and how we can work with them to run our very best.