Genie Sit

It’s no secret that I love body-weight exercises, especially when no special equipment is needed. Don’t be fooled by what appears to be a simple movement.

Targeted Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, core, hip flexor and lower back.

How to Perform a Genie Sit:

  1. Place a mat on the ground and place knees shoulder-to-hip width apart on it with your feet behind you.
  2. Cross your arms in front of you so that your hands are on your opposite shoulders. Cross your arms onto opposite shoulders and lift your elbows up to shoulder height.
  3. Keep your upper body straight and contract your glutes and hamstrings. Slowly lean backwards, bending at the knees.
  4. Only go back as far as you are comfortable and then using your quad and glute muscles, pull yourself back up.
  5. Repeat.


  • Visualize a line that connects the knee, hip, shoulder, and ear to maintain proper upper body form.
  • Only lean back as far as proper form can be maintained.

TEMPO: 2-2


Inhale: Isometric hold of the core and glutes as you lean backward.

Exhale: Lean forward to return to start.

Stephanie Harboe is a RRCA-certified run coach and NASM-certified personal trainer.


Back to basics: Push-Ups

My military athletes MUST be good at push-ups for fitness tests, and I design their training to include pre-run push-ups and push-up variations in the gym. I’ve been present at many PT tests where some push-ups were not counted because of poor form. I ensure my military athletes perform push-ups with correct form, but also have the strength and endurance to meet minimum standards and beyond.

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Death March for Runners

Say hello to my little friend: Death March for Runners.

How can a small step forward with hip hinge make you want to say swear words?

In Death March for Runners, the goal is to elongate the hamstrings and engage the glutes. This is done by placing the load on the front leg as much as possible and keeping a slight soft bend in the front knee as you push your hips back like you would in any deadlift variation. Essentially Death March for runners is a split stance hinge. You should absolutely feel your glutes, hamstrings and pelvic stabilizers of the lead leg.

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Spring 2020 includes two marathons for me: One City Marathon, then the Boston Marathon. Periodized training is important when setting an ambitious goal. It’s about building a strong foundation in the gym and with base mileage, then adding different training elements to create a healthy, confident, injury-free running body.

December was a great time for me to add stamina workouts to my training plan. I had spent weeks running mostly easy-pace by RPE (rate of perceived effort). Gym time @ PESfit developed my strength endurance and cleaned up some minor muscle imbalances.

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Step Ups

Simple, yet full of technical details. Welcome to step-ups!

Ideally, the step-up trains the quads, hamstrings, and glutes of the leg on the box (working leg). The working leg performs concentric and eccentric movement, while improving balance.

What often happens? The calf of the foot touching the floor pushes off and the lower back compensates half way through the upward movement. Sure, the working leg does some work, but will not be fully loaded.

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Pelvic Tilt with March

Lower back pain is a sure sign of a weak core and glutes. Any human – runner or not – can benefit from effective core work.

Pelvic tilt (different video) and pelvic tilt with march are for every body. However, post-partum women can benefit greatly from this exercise, regardless of the presence of diastasis recti. It is important to regain core muscle strength after pregnancy.

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Three-way clamshells

I ❤️ my 9″ mini resistance bands!

Clamshells are great to build glute and TFL strength, but the side position isn’t my favorite. Ta-da! Seated 3-way mini resistance band clamshells.

What to do:

  1. Place the mini band right below (more advanced) or right above (a bit easier) your knees. Whichever location you choose or whatever resistance mini band you use, just make sure you feel your glutes and outside your hips actually working.
  2. Sit on the edge of the bench and your feet about hip-width apart. Then press your knees open against the band, using your glutes to open the band.
  3. Begin with the forward hip hinge, then sitting tall, and finish leaning back.

Alter the location and ‘weight’ of the resistance band to progress or regress the movement for your current level of fitness.

Stephanie Harboe is a RRCA-certified running coach and NASM-certified personal trainer.

Kettlebell Deadlifts (runners)

Kettlebell Deadlifts are an effective exercise for strengthening the posterior chain, some of the biggest and strongest muscles in the body: back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

A strong posterior chain is critical for runners, as these muscles are what push you forward with each stride. They also work to stabilize the knee joint, extend the hip joint, and strengthen and straighten the spine (especially important for chronic sitters).

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