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How smart runners cross-train

8 high-intensity moves that strengthen common weaknesses

Even if you prefer running over every other workout, there’s also reason to look forward to cross-training days. First of all, your body needs it to improve mobility, strengthen muscle imbalances, and prevent injury, says CeCe Marizu, New York City-based group fitness manager and instructor at Equinox. Second, people who like to break a sweat every time they train will be happy to hear you don’t have to slow down to get the benefits.

All you need to complete the high-intensity session below, created by Marizu, is a mat and a mini looped resistance band. “You can also add 10- to 25-pound weights to some of these moves to make them more challenging,” says Marizu, who taught this routine at the ASICS Fifth Avenue Flagship Store in New York City in September as part of #MOVEWITHASICS.

To do it, perform each exercise for 60 seconds, then immediately move on to the next one until you’ve done them all. That’s one round. Repeat for 3 rounds, resting for 60 to 90 seconds between each. Do this 2 to 3 times per week on days you don't run for optimal results.

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  • Side Squat with Band

    Side Squat with Band

    Stand tall with feet together and a mini looped resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. Step your left foot to the left, just wider than hip-width, and squat down, keeping spine straight. Press through your heels to return to standing, then bring your left foot back to start. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides. To add weight, hold a dumbbell in each hand, pressed together in front of your chest.
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  • Scissor Cardio

    Scissor Cardio

    With a mini looped resistance band above your ankles, stand with arms bent at your sides. Start to scissor jump by bringing the left foot and right arm forward and the right foot and left arm back as if you’re running, keeping legs straight and quickly alternating so you’re in constant movement, stretching the band with each jump. Continue for 60 seconds.
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  • Pendulum Lunge

    Pendulum Lunge

    Stand tall with feet together. Step the right leg back into a reverse lunge, then press through your front foot to return to start. Immediately move into a forward lunge with the same leg, then return to start. Repeat with the left leg. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides. To make the exercise more difficult, move straight into a forward lunge from the reverse lunge without planting your foot in between. To add weight, hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms down by your sides.
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  • Narrow Row with Band

    Narrow Row with Band

    With a mini looped resistance band around your wrists, palms facing each other, and arms outstretched, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep a slight bend in the knees and hinge forward at the hips, maintaining a straight spine. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to create as much tension in the band as possible. Row your elbows to your sides, then reverse to start. Continue for 60 seconds. To add weight, hold a dumbbell in each hand while you row.
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  • Broad Jump Burpee

    Broad Jump Burpee

    Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width and a slight bend in the knees. Jump forward, landing softly in a squat, and lower your hands to the floor at shoulder-width. Jump your feet back into a high plank. Immediately jump your legs forward, return to standing, and shuffle backwards to start. Repeat, continuing for 60 seconds.
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  • Lateral Lunge with Band

    Lateral Lunge with Band

    Stand tall with feet together and a mini looped resistance band around your wrists, arms straight, palms facing each other. Step the left leg out to the side and lower into a lateral lunge, pressing your tailbone back, left knee directly above left foot. Press firmly off the left foot to return to center. Repeat with the right leg. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides. To add weight, hold one dumbbell at either end with arms extended in front of chest.
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  • Quick Feet with Twist

    Quick Feet with Twist

    Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms bent at 90 degrees. Start with quick feet, engaging your core and keeping the knees bent. Without turning your upper body, rotate your hips to the left and simultaneously jump so your right foot comes forward and your left foot goes back, then immediately return to center without pausing. Continue with quick feet for 5 seconds, then repeat on the right. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides.
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  • Downdog Toe Touch

    Downdog Toe Touch

    Get into a high plank with shoulders over wrists, then push your hips up until you’re in downdog, with legs, spine, and arms straight. Reach the left hand to the right toes, return to downdog, then lower into a high plank. Repeat with the right hand. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides.
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