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Stuck indoors? Some running drills to boost fitness (and fun)

Switch things up and keep your heart rate high with these rainy-day drills

fitness Photo by: Thinkstock

Some days you just don’t want to go outside. While we know running in adverse conditions can be a good mental-strength builder, even the most hardcore runners occasionally don’t want to tackle the rain/lightning/extreme heat or whatever is happening out the door. No access to a treadmill? No problem–here are some easy ways to give your fitness a boost on those rare times you just want to stay in.

Clear some space and grab your shoes (or not, these exercises all work great in bare feet) and get ready to feel a burn.

The 100-up drill

If you only have a few minutes, 100-ups are the way to go. Christopher McDougall, author of the bestselling Born to Run and Born to Run 2, swears by this exercise as a way to improve and polish your running technique. Best performed in bare feet, you can also fit it in before or in the middle of your regular run to spice things up.

Stand up tall, core engaged, shoulders back, and feet hip-width apart. Bend elbows at 90 degrees into your natural running arm swing position.

Drive your right knee up to hip height while simultaneously driving your left arm forward and up and right arm back in an arm swing, just as if you were running.

Return your foot to the starting position, landing on the ball of your foot directly underneath you. Repeat on the alternate side for 100 repetitions, 50 per side. Start slow, but feel free to increase your pace once you’ve got the hang of it.

Skipping rope

Get your heart rate soaring by jumping rope in place. Skipping is an effective cardio exercise that improves cardiorespiratory health, tones muscles, strengthens bones and boosts flexibility. You’ll feel like you’ve been sprinting and are also boosting your co-ordination, focus and body awareness. Try a 10-minute skipping workout to get started.

Burpees, burpees, burpees

You either love them or hate them–but it’s hard to ignore how effective burpees are. Burpees use a whole set of movements to target major muscle groups, including legs and hips, glutes, core, arms, chest and shoulders. While you hop, squat and push-up, you’ll burn as many calories as you would running, while getting an overall workout.

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