It’s great to have a 6-pack and all, but as a runner it is more important to have core strength and balance so you can be a healthier, more resilient runner. A solid core (thighs to ribs both front and back), correct imbalances that can lead to injury. And of course, a side benefit to working your core is that you just might end up with the rock’n 6-pack you were hoping for.
Five Great Core Exercises for Runners
Here are five core must do exercises for runners that are about preventing injury and good running performance. Do these exercise 2-3 times a week and see your running improve and your aches and pains lessen.
1. Side Leg Raises: Lie on your right side. Raise your left leg upwards as far as is comfortable and slowly lower it back down. You should feel this in the outside of the glute. Runners knee often occurs with weak or inactive glutes. Do about 20 reps on each side.
2. Clamshells: Lie on your right side in the fetal position with your knees up towards your torso. With your bent legs stacked on top of one another, open up the clamshell by lifting your left knee upwards, keeping your feet together. This is another glute strengthener. Complete 20 reps on each side.
3. Donkey Kicks: Get on all fours, keeping your back straight. Take your bent right leg and kick it back and upwards before bringing it back to the starting position. Another winner for the glutes – getting the picture here? Complete 20 reps on each side.
4. Bridges: Get on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your arms at your sides, raise your butt and lower back off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your torso to your head. Hold for a 3-5 count and lower back down. This one is money for lower back pain. Complete 10 to 15 reps.
5. Planks: Get in push-up position, either on hands or down to your forearms. Hold this position, making sure not to let your midsection sag towards the ground. Complete five reps of holding for as long as you can.