While (too) many runners are still struggling to grasp the importance of regular strength training and the positive impact it has on their running, a lot of runners tend to do some core work on a regular basis.
At least they think they are working their cores.
However, too many runners (and people in general) think that working their abs is the same thing as working their core. And honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your core muscle group includes your abs, obliques, and the muscles in your lower back, and all of them are vital for improved running performance and injury prevention. However, if you focus on your abs and neglect the other areas of your core, you are actually setting yourself up for more problems than you’re preventing.
If possible, working the core muscles at the same time is the best bet, because your core muscles are constantly working together to support your upper body and transfer energy between your upper and lower body all of the time.
So with that in mind, here are 5 of the best core exercises for runners.
Best Core Exercises for Runners
- Planks–Holding a good plank for 20-60 seconds is a great way to build strength and endurance in your entire core with an extra focus on your abdominals.
- Side Planks–Side planks are just as good for the entire core as regular planks, but there is even more focus on the oblique muscles.
- Bird Dogs–Bird dogs are a great way to work your lower back muscles, and by tightening your abs and obliques to improve your balance, you’re assured of an entire core strengthening session.
- Single Leg Hip Extensions–This exercise focus a little more on your hips/glutes, and while those muscles may not technically be part of the core they do impact your core’s ability to maintain stability while running.
- Hip Bridge–The bridge is basically the opposite of the plank: it’s a stability exercises that requires you to heighten your entire core while focusing slightly more on your lower back.
And if you have any questions about any of the exercises on this list, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Now, start working on your core!