Running is often associated with the strength and endurance of your lower body. But what many runners tend to overlook is the important role that their upper bodies play in enhancing their running efficiency and overall athletic performance.

COROS Coaches dive into why upper body workouts are important for runners and how they can help improve running form. There is also a new upper body focused workout that is tailored to athletes of all experience levels.

New Upper Body Workout

COROS Coaches created a new upper body workout that can be bodyweight-focused for beginners or more advanced by adding different types of equipment. You can download this workout and others from our COROS Workout Library:

  • Upper Body Workout: To make these exercises more challenging, consider increasing the weight, the number of repetitions, or the duration of your holds.

Each exercise includes a video demonstration so that you can learn how to perform it properly.

Just like with running, it is important to be fully warmed up prior to lifting weights to prevent injury. It is recommended to spend 5 minutes focused on low-intensity cardio and then 5-10 minutes focused on a few mobility exercises.

Importance of Upper Body Workouts as a Runner

Maintaining proper running form is an important aspect of running, and it's not limited to just the lower body. Your form encompasses your entire body's movement as you take each stride. Surprisingly, your upper body plays a huge role in maintaining balance and stability during your runs. With a strong upper body, you gain better control over your posture, preventing slouching or excessive leaning forward. This translates to a more efficient stride and a reduced risk of injuries stemming from poor form. You can train with greater efficiency, ensuring you don't waste unnecessary energy during your runs.

Make modifications to your push-up to ensure proper form.

Incorporating upper body exercises into your training routine doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. The key is to focus on a balanced upper body routine, targeting all major muscle groups. Upper body exercises offer a wide range of options and variations. This versatility allows runners to customize their workouts to suit their fitness level, goals, and available equipment.

Here are some examples of basic upper-body exercises:

  • Push-Ups: targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Modify by starting with using a wall, or bench or performing from your knees.
  • Rows: targets your upper back, shoulders, and biceps. Start with lighter weights/resistance bands and higher reps, then progress to heavier weights with fewer reps.
  • Planks: targets your core, shoulders, and upper back muscles. Modify by starting on your knees and progressing to your forearms. The wider your feet, the easier that the plank will be.
  • Mobility Exercises: Incorporate yoga poses or mobility exercises like cat-cow stretches, and arm circles to improve upper body flexibility and mobility. These are especially helpful if you spend long hours in front of a computer or tend to hold your stress in your shoulders.
You can combine upper body exercises into a circuit to create a full-body workout that engages both upper and lower body muscles.

During upper body exercises, like pull-ups, the wrist-based heart rate monitor may struggle to accurately track your heart rate. To get the most data from your strength workouts, try wearing the COROS Heart Rate Monitor.

The design of the heart rate monitor prevents it from getting caught on gym equipment.

More Questions?

If you have questions about this workout or training questions in general, email us at, and we will be happy to share insights!