Runners often spend a lot of time and attention on warming up, stretching and cooling down. However, they often forget about strengthening their core.
While warming up and cooling down is crucial, a runner cannot ignore the importance of having a strong core. In fact, most trainers now talk about the importance of core training for runners and athletes alike.
Whether you’re training for a sprint, a marathon or simply running to get in shape, you will do yourself a world of good if you do the right exercises to strengthen your abs and workout your core.
Your ‘core’ is called so for a reason. Therefore, that’s where you should ideally begin your training schedule.
If you are doing everything right, and not getting the desired results while you’re running, try working on your core first. Strengthening your abs will not only significantly improve your performance, but also prevent injury.
Let’s look at the 3 best core exercises recommended for runners —
A Plank is most definitely the obvious choice for working out your core muscles
However, most trainers will agree that straight planks are not what runners should be opting for. Side planks are more beneficial.
How to perform a side plank:
Lie on your right side. Slowly, prop yourself on your right forearm touching your elbow on the ground.
Divide your weight across your forearm. Place your legs, knees, and toes one on top of the other.
Raise your hips to form a side plank. Tighten your abs and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same thing on the left side. Repeat.
As you reach advanced levels, you can increase the duration of your planks and try and raise one leg at a time and hold for 15 seconds. Return to the starting position gently.
The Dead Bug
While this sounds easy, in reality it’s a killer abs workout. To do this, lie flat on your back and stretch your hands above your chest in line with your shoulders and bend your legs to form 90 degrees.
Next, stretch your right leg and your left arm at the same time. Your right arm and your left leg will be in the starting position.
After 30 seconds, return to starting position. Now extend your left leg and right arm. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.
Take a look at the picture to get the right idea. Be certain that you arms and legs are at 90 degrees, and support your head!
1 Arm 1 Leg Plank
Although doing a static plank might not be the best core exercise for runners, the one-arm one-leg plank might just the right one to do since it resembles the running posture.
Get into a good front plank and make sure your head is up and you’re not bending your back.
Your feet need to be a bit wider than your shoulders. Raise your right leg and extend your left hand. Suck your belly button in and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the same using the opposite hand and leg.
The woman in the picture got it almost right, just make sure you extend the opposite arm to the leg (in case of this picture, the right arm.)
Just a few days of these core strengthening exercises will help you run that extra mile and that too, in great speed, shape and form!
Chiropractic can also be a beneficial addition to your workouts and health care routine. When your bones are aligned properly, your body can function at it's best. To get your body ready to crush your PR's, give us a call at 303-776-6767 to see how Longmont's Leading Chiropractors can help you!