Sports & Gaming

Stretches and Strength Training

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Lesson time 14:49 min

Joan demonstrates a set of stretches and strengthening exercises, and then walks you through the steps to creating your own routine.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Squats - Side Steps - High Knees - Achilles Stretch - Foam Roller - Hamstring Stretch - Planks - Heel Rollout - Bridges - Clam Shell


[MUSIC PLAYING] JOAN BENOIT: I never was much of a stretcher. I never really stretched or did any strengthening exercises. All my stretching and strengthening was done in other areas outside of running. For instance, I'm an avid gardener. That, to me, was strength training, hoeing the soil, pickaxing the soil to break it up, carrying wood into the house to fire up the wood stove, cross-country skiing, you know, pole action. I think it helped develop my efficiency as a runner because all of a sudden my upper body was more in sync with my legs and lower body because I was developing more and more strength in my arms. And I think efficiency is key to success for any runner. So that's what I did for strength and stretching. I just did daily tasks. But there came a time when the aging process set in and I couldn't just run out the door without jogging into a run and slowing down and jogging out of a run. As I aged and was starting to deal with more and more injuries, then I became a little bit more serious about the stretching and the strengthening. So as most runners know, there's a whole series of strengthening and stretching exercises to choose from. And sometimes it's difficult to choose the exercises that you know yourself that you can find the time to do and to do correctly. Now I'm going to demonstrate some helpful stretches and strengthening exercises to hopefully inspire you to create your own routine. The squat is an important exercise for runners. It's also a very simple exercise. You can do the squat with or without weights. I choose to do my squats most of the time with weights. But if you're someplace and don't have weights, you can do Squats with your arms out like this. Get to that 90 degree angle. Keep on the ball of your feet. And then come all the way up, extending your knees as straight as you can without locking them. So with weights, obviously, my arms are going to be by my side. I'm going to go down and get the weights. I'm going to bring them up. And I'm going to go into full extension, looking up. My knees are straight but not locked. Then I'm going to go down to about a 90 degree angle and then I'm going to come back up straight up. Stand tall and down again. It's just like taking a seat. You want to keep your back as straight as you can. You want to keep your core tight. You want to feel really firm on the ground and planted with your feet solidly below your shoulders. This is good for all your lower muscles and for your knees because you're strengthening the quads, the glutes, and the hamstrings which support your knees. The number of reps when it comes to squats differs for everybody. I usually do three sets of 10 to 15 squats. I like to do my squats before my workouts. It makes me feel like I'm on track in every sense of the word. The sidesteps with the band are important, because it helps to develop your lateral strength, your IT strength, your hip strength, your hip flexors. An...

About the Instructor

Winner of the very first women’s Olympic marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson has spent her life breaking records and paving the way for female runners around the world. Now she’s teaching her personal philosophy and approach to running. Whether you’re an experienced runner or have been thinking about getting started, you’ll learn how to get motivated, set goals, and achieve victory in running and in life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Long-distance legend Joan Benoit Samuelson teaches her personal approach to running so you can go further in running and in life.

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