Back and Leg

Model: Elaine Lo // Sportswear: Asics

We as runners are always out somewhere running. Most of the times at park, there are various options to do strength training exercises for a better and invigorating run. Greeted by the fresh air with beautiful green views, there are a variety of options whether to do speed works, and even stairs. This whole year, I will show you exercises which you can do in the park. You can even do these exercises after a run.

Overhand Grip Pull, Narrow Reverse Grip Pull and Stationary Squats.

Its not easy to execute the wide overhand grip but with the bar being low and feet on the ground, it will make ‘pull ups’ much easier. While the overhand grip uses more lats(latissimidorsi)muscle with less assistance from the arms, the reverse narrow grip has the biceps to assist. The stationary squat builds overall leg strength.


Outdoors can be nice accompanied by the breeze and the wind in the mornings or evenings. However if you’re in a hot climate like Malaysia, the humidity during certain months can be high. Plus, due to the wind and movements that disperse sweat, you may not realize how much you sweat. Therefore hydrating well is very important.

Medical Clearance/Advice

Regardless of your age, you should get a doctors clearance before embarking on the exercises shown here, especially if you are a smoker, have generic heart problems, high blood pressure or any serious injuries of past or present.

Chances of minor injuries and minor muscle pulls are possible from any form of exercises and extra care should be taken to understand the exercise shown here. Proper warm up must also be executed. At any time if you are unsure of the exercises, please write to

How to Start

If you have never done any strength training before, after the first few sessions, you may feel extreme muscle soreness but that is normal and it should subside in a few days. Take it really easy on your first attempt and increase the intensity gradually by adding more repetitions every other week.

Rule of Thumb

  • Intensity
    Always use the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) from 1-10, one being the easiest and 10 being the hardest. On your first few sessions always keep the scale at 5-7 and then progress to 8 or max gradually as you get stronger. Focus on 8-12 repetitions (reps) to fatigue of 3 sets per exercise for general fitness and after a few weeks, increase to 15-25 reps to fatigue to train on muscular endurance for running benefits.
  • Frequency
    Twice a week will be a good start with some days of rest inserted in between strength training days. You may do three sessions a week with a day of rest in between days after a few weeks.
  • Caution
    Stay away from strength training 2-3 days before your key races so that your muscles are not sore and fresh for the race. Focus on stretching instead.

Overhand Grip Pull Up

With your hands on the bar a little wider than your shoulder, from the start position, pull up while the chest is proud in front, head looking up while the middle of the chest meets the bar. Then lower yourself slowly, activate the core while executing this. A good 2-3 seconds up while breathing out and 3-4 seconds when lowering while breathing in.

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