Running is a flexible, inexpensive and accessible workout that can be done nearly anywhere.

Its growing popularity is no surprise. But there’s a catch – at least 50% of regular runners get injured each year! Research shows1 that while injuries can result from trauma, such as falls, they more frequently stem from overuse.

I love running; the freedom of being propelled forward by my own legs, enjoying the outdoors, the feeling when I am in the flow. But I know the other side of the coin all too well – tripping on a trail and spraining my ankle, suffering from a recurring runner’s knee, persistent piriformis syndrome (aka – nagging pain in the glutes).

I would have given up running, and not even dreamed of running a fast marathon (I ultimately qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2014) if I hadn’t discovered the benefits of Essentrics dynamic stretching and strengthening exercises.


What is Essentrics®?

Essentrics workouts simultaneously strengthen and stretch the full body. The dynamic, isotonic exercises move the body in space, with the body weight acting as the resistance force for strengthening2. This improves the range of motion in all joints and helps rebalance and strengthen the full body – from the tips of the toes to the top of your head!

Frequently used by high level and Olympic athletes, Essentrics is gentle, respectful to the natural limits of your body and improves blood flow – making it an excellent workout to help aid recovery in between your runs. It is aired freely on PBS in North America as part of their fitness programming, making it accessible to people from all walks of life.


What are the benefits of Essentrics® workouts for runners?

Gently strengthen the weaker parts of your body.
To reduce the risk of injury, improve performance and enjoy running more, strengthening the weaker parts of your body is essential – think about the core, IT band and the glutes. Essentrics Side-to-Side Lunges challenge you to pull up, strengthening the core as you activate the muscles around the hips.

Rapid release of tightness around your joints.
Gently and dynamically lengthening your muscles and connective tissue, as we do in Essentrics Pliés for instance, helps improve range of movement in the joints. This in turn reduces tightness and strain on the joints. It also improves the flow of the synovial fluid, acting as a lubricant improving ease of movement in the knees, hips, and ankles (similar to how oil greases the hinges of a door). This is essential to help reduce inflammation in the joints and eventually prevent damage to them.

Improved agility, speed & stamina for more power & injury prevention.
No part of the body is overlooked in Essentrics. Athletes love how Essentrics strengthens the feet with pliability exercises to help boost take-off and a safe landing, especially on uneven terrain.
Adding dynamic stretching to a pre-run warm up is found to be effective for improving performance, measured in time to exhaustion and total running distance according to this study.3

Support in recovery.
The gentle, full body movements found throughout all our workouts boost blood flow and deep breathing, helping you get rid of toxins, reduce soreness and recover well.

It’s time-efficient!
Every Essentrics workout is specifically designed to rebalance the full body, even in as little as 10 minutes.

Why don’t you give it a try right away?
Conditioning for Running Collection


I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
– Jesse Owens


How can I best incorporate Essentrics® in my workout schedule?

Suitable for pre-run, post-run & on rest days.
The Conditioning for Running collection contains Essentrics workouts that can be done as a pre-run activation or a lovely release right after your run. You can do both or choose just one, depending on your time and needs. Other workouts in this collection are specifically designed as cross-training for the days where you don’t run.

Don’t just DO the movements, aim to FIND & FEEL the stretches.
If you’re not used to stretching regularly, your body will likely feel quite rigid. Luckily, this is not a flexibility contest! It’s more important to find where your body’s capabilities are, rather than what we think it should look like.

To do this, slow down as needed and take your time to gently find the stretch. Once found, exhale and move around with ease – never force! This method will allow the muscles and connective tissues to release little by little, but the effects will be great.

Easy does it.
If you have an active injury or feel a sharp pain while running or doing Essentrics, it’s your body telling you to back off. Go back to the point where you don’t feel that pain and feel free to stop and start again the next day. Gentle movement done in a pain-free range of motion supports healing and gets you back in shape faster.

I started doing Essentrics at the age of 27. At that point I was feeling fragile, I had frozen shoulder, regularly sprained my ankles and had recurring knee pain. I still ran but was often injured and worried that I would have to give it up.

In February 2014, I decided to run my first marathon, giving myself 8 months to get ready. Incorporating Essentrics as my conditioning training, I started training for the race. When the time came for the long marathon training runs, to my surprise and relief, I was able to keep up with seasoned runners, with good running form and (relative) ease. As an additional challenge, I set myself the goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And despite having the jitters and starting the race way too fast, I finished in 3:35 – qualifying for Boston in my age range.

This year I turn 45. Essentrics has had a life-changing impact on my sports performance, my well-being and my life. It’s helping me future-proof my body and mind, because I am confident that I have a conditioning program by my side that keeps me going the extra mile.

I hope that you benefit from the collection!

Written by Danielle de Wildt, Essentrics Master Trainer & EssentricsTV host


Ready to boost your runs?

Head over to the Essentrics Conditioning for Running collection and let us help you unlock the power of your body.

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3. Watts, E. L., Matthews, C. E., Freeman, J. R., Gorzelitz, J. S., Hong, H. G., Liao, L. M., McClain, K. M., Saint-Maurice, P. F., Shiroma, E. J., & Moore, S. C. (2022). Association of Leisure Time Physical Activity Types and Risks of All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality Among Older Adults. JAMA network open, 5(8), e2228510.