The Best 10 Core Exercises for Runners
Written by: Save on Sneaks Ten Core Exercises For Runners Running is a great way to stay healthy whether you do it competitively or not. It will enhance your circulation, strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your mood. One of the best ways to improve your running is by building core strength. Improving core strength will ensure that the lower back, hips, and pelvis work together, ensuring that you use up more energy and run better. It will also improve your balance which ensures that you avoid accidents such as falls. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that you regularly train your core. What Is The Role Of The Core When Running? Core strength is crucial for runners and as mentioned above, strengthening your core is very important. A runner's core plays the following roles. Gives You Balance And Stability Slip and fall accidents can leave you with a sprain or even a fracture when running. Your core helps enhance your balance, ensuring you recover if you slip or trip on something on the ground. You will not fall and hurt yourself. Provides A Solid Base Your core provides your legs a solid base that they push against so that you can move forward. Without it, you will not be able to be run properly. A strengthened core will provide a stronger base which means you will run better and even faster. Keeps You Upright Your core keeps you upright and ensures that you do not fall when running. A strong core will help you resist the force of gravity and run faster and more efficiently. Helps you Breathe A strong core ensures that you can breathe better when you are running. If you can breathe well, you run faster and are unlikely to get tired very quickly. Counter-balance Your core is a counter-balance for your arms and legs, ensuring that you run effectively. Ten Core Exercises For Runners Here are the ten best core exercises that can help improve your core. Ball Crunch You will need a yoga ball to execute this core workout. Sit on the ball and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your shoulders, neck, and head aligned. Take time to ensure that you are comfortable and are not straining your neck. Using your hands, support your neck with your elbows facing outwards. Step forward slowly while allowing the yoga ball to roll from your butt towards your lower back. That should help with core engagement. You will now need to firmly hold your upper body up against the ball and crunch forward with your knees bent without using your hands to pull your head forward. It is advisable to hold this position for several seconds then slowly release using your ab muscles. Plank The plank exercise is an excellent way to build your core strength. There are several types of planks that you can do, which include side and forearm planks. These, however, are variations of the standard plank, which is a great way to build core strength without using exercise machines. With your feet a hip-length apart and toes touching the ground, lie on your stomach on the floor. Make sure your hands are even with the shoulders and a hip-length apart, just like your feet. Ascertain your hands are positioned in the same way you would place them when preparing to do a pushup. Align your head, neck, and back and using your core muscles, push up from the ground. You will need to hold the position for about 30 seconds, then lower yourself slowly back to the ground. Repeat this several times to strengthen your core muscles. Side Plank Another excellent core workout is the side plank mentioned above. To execute the side plank, you will need to sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. From that position, roll to the left side and place your right leg on top of the left one. Your left hand should be pressed to the floor. Using your core muscles, lift off the floor, ensuring that you raise your hips off the ground. Straighten your arm and push yourself entirely off the ground and keep your body aligned. Just like in the standard plan release slowly and then repeat on the other side. You will need to do this running core workout several times for the best results. Floor Prone Cobra Another way to strengthen your core muscles is the floor-prone cobra. It is an easy exercise to execute, and you will be able to do it the first time you try. You need to begin laying on your stomach on the floor. Stretch your arms out on your sides with the palms facing up. Using your butt and ab muscles, lift your shoulders and head from the floor and start to lift your chest just a little bit. To get the best out of this running core workout, pull back your shoulders while squeezing your shoulder muscles together ensuring that your spine, neck, and head are perfectly aligned and stay in that position for about 20 seconds. Gently release and go back to the starting position. You can repeat this exercise several times, raising your chest gently off the floor. Windshield Wipers Another easy to execute core strengthening exercise is the windshield wipers. For this exercise, you need to lie flat on the floor, with your arms spread out. Your right foot should be touching your left foot. Make sure that your arms and shoulders make a straight line. Raise your legs at a 90-degree angle with your head facing the ceiling. Using your core muscles, rotate your hips only and allow your feet to fall to the right then the left without raising your back. Ensure that you keep your core engaged as you lift your legs from one side to the next. Modified Bicycle You probably remember the bicycle from your physical education classes in school. The modified exercise is similar to that, and you will need to lie on your back to do it. Make sure that your neck, head, and spine are aligned. Hold your right leg up in the air and ensure your thigh is perpendicular to your body with your shin parallel to your running core workout mat. Lift your other leg 3 inches from the mat, and then hold that position for a few seconds. Switch legs and repeat the exercise. It is a great way to improve your core strength and enhance your running experience. Scissor kicks For this core strengthening exercise, you need to lie on your back with your feet hip-length apart. Engage your ab muscles and lift one leg into the air with the toes pointing towards the ceiling. Raise your foot about 2 inches off the mat. Bring your leg down as you lift your other leg towards the roof. It is crucial to ensure that your lower leg does not touch the floor for this exercise to be effective. The idea is to use your core to keep your legs lifted, which will strengthen your core. Bridges Bridges involve engaging your core to lift your hips and butt. You will need to lay on your back and keep your knees bent with the bottom of your feet pressed on your exercise mat. Place your arms on the floor alongside your body, with your palm facing the ground. Squeeze your butt muscles tightly and use your core muscles to lift your pelvic area upwards. Keep your butt muscles squeezed and your core engaged until you lift your back off the ground creating a bridge shape with your shoulders and feet. Hold yourself in this position for 30 seconds, and then gently lower your body back to the ground. Make sure that you keep your hands alongside your body the entire time. It is advisable to repeat this core training exercise ten times to ensure it is effective. Russian Twist To do the Russian twist, sit on your floor with your knees bent and your back straight. Lower your body a few inches backward and use your abs to hold yourself up with your head, neck, and spine aligned. Twist slowly and bring both your hands across the body and touch the floor next to your midsection. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times on each side for maximum effectiveness. V-ups You need to lie on the floor with your back completely aligned. Ensure that you are looking up at the ceiling as you lift your lower and upper body. Your feet and hands should meet at the top, with your body weight balanced on the butt. Slowly lower your body to the floor, keeping your core engaged. Repeat this exercise several times. Core strengthening exercises will go a long way in improving your running performance. The above exercise will strengthen your ab muscles and enhance your upper body strength. Upper body strength enhances your ability to deal with wind resistance, especially if you are a sprinter. It is essential to note that you do not need exercise machines to execute the above exercises. That makes them very pocket-friendly. Enhance your exercise routine here Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Save On Sneaks provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice. The advice given on this website does not constitute or replaces medical advice. Please consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition plan.