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Top five strength exercises for triathletes

Are you including strength work as part of your training program this season? Getting to the gym for strength training isn’t a triathlete’s favourite workout of the week, but it is important. Heather Gardner, founder of Tribe Fitness in Toronto, shared five strengthening exercises she recommends for all triathletes. These will help you stay injury free so you can head into the racing season ready for a PB.

Weighted Lunge


Stand up straight with a weight in each hand, hanging at your sides. Take a big step forward, bend at the knee and lower yourself down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. The knee of your forward leg should be right above of the ankle. Do a few sets of 10, alternating legs, with a short rest between each set.

Bonus: Try doing backward or side lunges too, for added strengthening and hip mobility.


Reverse Chest IMG_1477small

Either lying on a weight bench, or standing (as pictured), start with a slight bend in your elbows and lift your arms outwards until they’re in a straight line across your back. Hold for a few seconds, and slowly release. Do two or three sets of 10, and slowly build up the weight and the number of reps over time.

IMG_1479smallSingle Leg Row

Stand straight with a weight in each hand, hanging at your sides. Slowly bend at the hips, while keeping one foot on the ground, and lift the other leg into the air. Keep your arms hanging down. Try to keep a straight line from your lifted foot through your back your head. Alternate legs and do a few sets of 10. Increase the weight as you grow stronger.

Weighted Hip Raise 


Laying on your back, with your knees bent and your feet planted flat, place a weight on your hips. Slowly lift your hips upwards, and focus on squeezing your glutes with each lift. Hold it for a few seconds, and slowly release. Do a few reps of 10, and increase the weight as you get stronger.

Bonus: Try extending one leg out straight, and doing these lifts one-legged.


We all know and love (?!) the plank. Lie face down, with your hands and feet at shoulder and hip width, like you’re doing a push-up. Alternatively, use your knees instead of your toes, or your elbows and forearms instead of your hands. Lift yourself up, like you’re at the “top” of a push-up, and hold it. Try to work up to holding it for 30 seconds, one minute, or five minutes! It all depends where your current core strength is. Do a few sets of planks throughout your workout.

Bonus: Try lifting one leg, or one hand off the ground for added difficulty. Make sure you alternate which hand or leg you lift.