With running being prohibited during lockdown and most of us not having access to fully equipped home gyms, our training approach needs a little bit more creativity. While some are enjoying backyard marathons or daily runs through their homes to keep their fitness up, sport scientist Adrian Le Roux suggests doing a series of strength moves. These strength moves are designed to help you get stronger and work on footwork, balance, coordination, agility and core strength. They’re perfect for trail runners. They require minimal equipment (a bench, a 5-litre bottle of water) and minimal space and will have you strong and ready to tackle mountains.


4 Trail Running Exercises to do at Home


Shadow Boxing


Shadow boxing is a method of cross training. It improves fitness, posture, coordination, boosts your mental strength and will help you to recover faster as cross training often acts as active recovery exercise. It improves footwork, balance and aerobic fitness – key to being able to tackle tough trails. Although your main focus is arm movement, you’ll be surprised at how many muscles you’re working during the workout.


Do it for 5 minutes.




The Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up is highly effective for overall mobility and stability of the core, shoulders, and hips. No other single exercise can do all of this. The get-up gives instant feedback as to what you need to work on. It can be a beneficial warm-up, functional strength, and/or corrective exercise for strength, power and endurance athletes. The ability to maintain overhead stability during movement is key in most sports and is helpful in preventing injury at the shoulder joint.


Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.



Mountain Climbers

If you have time for only one exercise let it be mountain climbers. It’s a simple exercise but a solid workout if done correctly. It works several muscles at the same time.  Your core, abs, glutes, lower back and shoulder muscle groups are all switched on to keep your hips up while performing the knee lift.

The faster you go the more explosive the exercise. The exercise requires you to be quick footed which makes it great for agility and coordination. It also serves as a great warmup exercise before more dynamic workouts like lunges and jumps.


Go all out for 30 seconds followed by a 15 second rest. Repeat 5 times. If you want more of a challenge increase to 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest and include more sets.



Bulgarian Split Squat

The importance of single leg strength work can’t be underestimated. Building single leg strength will help every athlete and especially trail and mountain runners to improve performance.

The Bulgarian split squat is one of the best single leg strength exercises you can do. It is a relatively safe movement that will build lower body strength and correct imbalances while also improving mobility and total body stability. This exercise is highly accessible, you can do them almost anywhere and is easy to learn.


Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

To increase the difficulty, hold on to some dumbbells or a single plate or weight.




Adrian Le Roux is a qualified Sport Scientist that has been coaching professional teams and athletes for over 20 years. Along with coaching and training many endurance athletes he was also the strength & conditioning coach for the South African National Cricket Team (Proteas) and is still involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a fitness consultant. Adrian’s has a passion for endurance events that include running, cycling, triathlon, adventure racing and ultra distance events. You can find him at https://lerouxcoaching.net/


Images and Videos by Adrian Le Roux

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