How Farmers Carries, Core Strength, and Step-Ups Boost Running Performance

ready to improve your running and reduce the risk of injuries? At One Life Personal Training, we believe that a strong and resilient body is essential for achieving peak running performance. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore how incorporating farmers carries, core strength exercises, and step-ups into your training regimen can enhance your running efficiency, reduce the likelihood of injuries, and improve your running performance overall.

The Role of Strength Training in Running Performance:

Strength training plays a crucial role in supporting the demands of running by improving muscle strength, stability, and endurance. By targeting key muscle groups involved in running mechanics, strength exercises help runners maintain proper form, reduce muscular imbalances, and enhance overall performance. Additionally, strengthening supporting muscles and stabilizers can alleviate stress on the joints and soft tissues, reducing the risk of common running injuries such as IT band syndrome, shin splints, and runner’s knee.

  1. Farmers Carries:
    • Farmers carries are a simple yet effective exercise for building grip strength, core stability, and overall body strength. By carrying heavy weights in each hand and walking for a set distance or time, you’ll engage muscles throughout your body, including the shoulders, core, and legs. Farmers carries improve posture, balance, and proprioception, which are essential for maintaining efficient running mechanics and reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, the unilateral nature of farmers carries helps correct muscle imbalances between the left and right sides of the body, leading to greater symmetry and coordination during running.
    Core Strength Exercises:
    • Core strength is the foundation of good running form and stability. A strong core provides the stability needed to maintain proper posture, alignment, and pelvic control while running. Incorporating core strength exercises such as planks, Russian twists, and leg raises into your routine strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and hips, which are essential for generating power and transferring forces efficiently during running. A strong core also helps prevent excessive rotation and lateral movement, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall running performance.
    • Step-ups are a functional lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings while also improving balance and coordination. By stepping onto a platform or bench and driving through the heel to lift your body up, you’ll strengthen the muscles used during running and improve single-leg stability and control. Step-ups mimic the movement pattern of running, making them an excellent exercise for improving stride power, knee stability, and overall lower body strength. Incorporating step-ups into your routine can help correct muscle imbalances, increase running efficiency, and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
    • Begin with 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretches and light cardio to warm up the muscles and prepare for exercise.
    Farmers Carries:
    • Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells and hold them by your sides.
    • Walk for 30-60 seconds, focusing on maintaining an upright posture and engaging your core muscles.
    • Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 3-5 sets.
    Core Strength Circuit:
    • Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds, followed by 15-30 seconds of rest:
      • Plank
      • Russian Twists
      • Bicycle Crunches
      • Mountain Climbers
    • Complete 2-3 rounds of the circuit, focusing on maintaining proper form and engaging the core muscles throughout.
    • Stand in front of a box or bench with a pair of dumbbells or a barbell on your shoulders.
    • Step up onto the box with one foot, driving through the heel to lift your body up.
    • Lower yourself back down with control, then repeat on the other side.
    • Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps per leg, focusing on smooth and controlled movements.

Benefits of Incorporating Farmers Carries, Core Strength, and Step-Ups:

  • Improved Running Form: By strengthening key muscle groups involved in running mechanics, such as the core, hips, and legs, you’ll maintain proper posture, alignment, and pelvic stability while running.
  • Reduced Injury Risk: Stronger muscles and enhanced stability help absorb impact forces, reduce stress on the joints, and prevent overuse injuries commonly associated with running.
  • Increased Performance: By developing greater strength, power, and endurance, you’ll be able to run faster, farther, and with less fatigue, ultimately improving your overall running performance and enjoyment.

Incorporating farmers carries, core strength exercises, and step-ups into your training regimen can help you become a stronger, more resilient runner. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity and volume as you progress. With consistent effort and dedication to strength training, you’ll reap the benefits of improved performance, reduced injury risk, and greater running enjoyment.

Stay strong,


PS: When you’re ready here are 2 ways we can help.

1. Come workout with us! Book your FREE no sweat intro consultation here. You’ll talk with a coach and come up with a plan together.

2. Download our 4 Week Leg Strength Program here.



Talk with a coach about your goals. Get the plan to achieve them.


Take the first step towards getting the results you want!

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from One Life Fitness & Nutrition