Home > Training

At-home strength training with Olympic steeplechaser Colleen Quigley

All you need is one dumbbell to perform these 10 exercises from Colleen Quigley

Photo by: Instagram/steeple_squigs

Colleen Quigley is one of the best steeplechasers in the world, and a big reason she has seen so much success is because she isn’t afraid to hit the gym. Strength training is an extremely important part of every runner’s schedule, and though most gyms remain closed, there are plenty of things you can do in your basement or kitchen. If you’re looking for a routine to try at home but don’t know where to start, check out this 10-exercise workout from Quigley. It’s a quick little routine that only requires a single dumbbell or kettlebell, which is great for runners who don’t want to pay for an entire home gym. 


Kettlebell swings (15 reps) 

Kettlebell swings are about a lot more than simply swinging the weight back and forth between your legs. As Quigley notes in her workout description, it’s important to keep your back and neck straight as you perform this exercise. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Smoothly swing the weight between your legs and then up to about shoulder height before letting gravity to its job as the kettlebell falls back between your legs. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout each swing. 

RELATED: What Colleen Quigley eats in a day

Planks with weight carryover (8 reps each side) 

Holding yourself up in plank position, place your dumbbell next to you. Keeping your hips level and your whole body straight from head to heels, carefully reach across to grab the weight, making sure to maintain proper form. Carry the weight to the other side and resume plank position before grabbing the weight with your other hand. 

Photo: Instagram/steeple_squigs

Mini squat to split stance overhead press (10 reps each side) 

Start with your knees bent, legs shoulder-width apart and hold the weight between your legs. Next, simultaneously jump, switching to a split stance (one leg in front of the other, like a lunge position), and shoot your arm and the weight into the air above your head. “Let your legs do the work to power the weight up,” Quigley writes. “[Your] arm is passive here.” 

RELATED: The argument for strength training in running plans

Bent-over row (10 reps each side)

Standing in split stance, lean forward slightly, keeping your back straight and in line with the leg that’s stretched out behind you. With the weight slightly in front of you, slowly pull your elbow back and up before extending it back down to the starting position.

Photo: Instagram/steeple_squigs

Lunge with a twist (10 reps each side)

“Step back into a lunge then twist toward your front knee,” Quigley says. It’s as simple as that. Keeping the weight in front of your chest, lunge backward, twist to the side and stand back up before repeating on the other side. 

RELATED: Colleen Quigley’s five minute core workout

Overhead tricep extension (10 reps)

Start with the wight in both hands over your head. Slightly tuck your chin (which will engage your core and protect your back) and slowly lower the weight back until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. 

Photo: Instagram/steeple_squigs

Deep squat with bicep curl (10 reps) 

Start standing up with the weight against your chest in both hands and then squat as low as you can go (making sure to keep your back straight). Once at the bottom of your squat, perform a double-arm curl in front of you before standing back up. 

RELATED: A week of training with Des Linden

Upright row to shoulder press (10 reps each side) 

Standing up straight, start with the weight at your side. Lift it up to your shoulder before pressing upward to the sky. Lower back down, switch hands and repeat. 

Photo: Instagram/steeple_squigs

Cross-body twist (10 reps each side) 

Start with the weight in both hands above your head to one side. Your body should be turned that way, facing the weight. Bring the weight down, cross your body and lower it to the ground on the opposite side in front of your shin, bending your knees slightly. 

RELATED: Optimizing your training with artificial intelligence

Extend and hold (3 x 10 seconds)

This is super simple but, as Quigley notes, it’s “harder than it looks.” Hold the weight out straight in front of you at shoulder height. Keep it there for 10 seconds before lowering it and resting.