Cardiovasculat health is great, but there is more to personal fitness than having a stellar VO2 Max. These are some simple and effective strengthening exercises that you can do with little or no equipment.

One of the risks of being a dedicated runner is that your body shape (for men) can shift from the attractive upside-down-triangle shape to something that resembles a limber twig. Women can also lose their feminine curves from running but that has less to do with a loss of muscle mass and more to do with a loss of body fat.

Men usually start running to get rid of their well-rounded physique, but, as it happens, a well rounded workout regimen is needed to get in top shape. The first strengthening exercise will help your obliques.

If you have an exercise ball (medicine ball), position yourself about five feet away from a wall with your left foot towards the wall. Spread your legs and bend at the waist to pick up the ball and then toss the ball against the wall by rotating your trunk.

Your obliques are the muscles that rotate your trunk, so it is natural that exercises that involve this motion would strengthen these muscles. You can also strengthen and enlarge your obliques by performing side pushups with your forearm supporting your weight as you lower your hip towards the ground– try 25 reps before switching sides.

As a runner, you should also be excited at exercises that will help you on the run. Future additions to this article will deal with form and posture which have everything to do with correct movement patterns and are impossible to perfect without strong muscles.

Jeff has written for several fitness and health related blogs. For more writing find him on Google+