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.

Benefits:

✅ Improved balance
✅ Increased core strength
✅ Engages hamstrings, glutes and quads
✅ Decreases pressure on your low back

How to do Death March for Runners:

  1. Begin in a standing position with feet hip-to-shoulder width and facing forward.
  2. Take a small step forward with one foot, and begin hinging the hips back. Keep heels in full contact with the floor. Place as much weight on the front leg as possible, using the rear leg only as stabilizing “anchor.” Be sure to keep a neutral spine; you should not look like a scared cat.
  3. Reach forward. As soon as you feel a good stretch in the hamstring of the front leg, begin to return to a standing position.
  4. Repeat the above with the other leg, and continue to do so, alternating legs on each rep.

Cues:

✅ Engage glute to promote hip extension (standing up).
✅ Reach forward to your current fitness. As flexibility increases, so will your range of motion.
✅ Heels on ground. Legs straight, but not locked.

Progressions:
dumbbells < kettlebells

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

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