Chicago Scene: Divine Nine 5K and runner exercises

Siddiqu The Personal Trainer

Neecy Roney


The Divine Nine 5K is a fun walk/run that brings people together from near and far. Divine Nine members and supporters, family and friends – all are welcome at this community event. Coordinated by the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Greater Atlanta and Chicago, the 3.1 mile walk/run offers enjoy fellowship, fitness and fun. Event proceeds support the Council’s scholarship and community programs.

Date:  June 16th – 8:00 a.m.

Location:  Jackson Park – 5700 E. Hayes Dr., Chicago JUNE 16TH, 2018hicago, IL US 60637

Runner Exercises:

Whenever the topic of strength training and running comes up, most runners tend to respond with, “Wait, I’m supposed to do something other than running?” Supplementing running with strengthening exercises will not only aid in injury prevention but will make you a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner.

But runners need a different strength-training program than your standard gym rat. Instead of pushing weight away from the body with bicep curls, leg extensions, and bench presses, runners should focus on targeting the key muscles that will keep them balanced.  Here are CF4L Top 4 Runner exercises

  1. Plank

To improve running speed, a runner needs to be upright.  Having a strong core helps with that motion. Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.

Muscles worked: core, lower back, shoulders

Rep:  45sec-1min


  1. Russian Twist

Another great core exercise and for runners this means an increase in stabilization in the torso with every running step.  You will lay on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent 90-degrees. Without changing the bend in your hips or knees, lower your legs to the left side of your body while keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. Lift them back to the starting position, and repeat to the right side of your body. That’s one repetition.

Modification: To make it harder, keep your legs straight.

Muscles worked: core

Reps: 30 seconds


  1. Squats

 If we could pick one exercise to recommend to all runners—young or old, beginner to experienced—it would be squats. Squats can help improve knee stability, leg power, and body awareness, as well as prevent common running injuries.  Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.

Watch out for: Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Keep your upper body “tall”—don’t lean forward.
Make it harder: Turn it into a Jump Squat. Squat down and then explode up as high as you can and land softly.

Muscles worked:  The squat is the king of all exercises, working over 256 muscles in one movement!

Reps:  3 sets of 10 reps.


  1. Lunge:  

They are ideal for runners because, to some extent, they are just like running. When you perform lunges, your body is slightly off balance with more emphasis on a single-leg motion at a time, just like when you run. Not only that, lunges target the main running muscles—your hamstrings, quadriceps and the glutes.  Stand with your feet staggered, your right foot forward. Squat down so that your left knee is lowered toward, but not touching, the floor. Lower down to a count of tow, and rise back up to a count of two. Repeat on the other leg. Do three sets of 10 reps.

Watch out for: Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Keep your upper body “tall”—don’t lean forward.
Make it harder: Do Jumping Lunges. Step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. Jump straight up off the floor, swinging your arms forward and switching your legs in midair, like scissors. Land in a lunge with your right leg forward.

Reps:  3 sets of 10 reps each leg