When you want to run efficiently, you have to work on your muscles with proper strength training. It isn’t just about running but working on major muscles with weights and bodyweight exercises to help reach your speed and distance.
With that in mind, your core is a very important part of your body when running. That’s why you need to strengthen it with the right exercises. However, why work on your core, and what core exercises for runners are there to follow?
Read on to find out!
Why Work on Your Core?
Why is it so important to work on your core for runners?
The major benefit of a strong core is increased stability in the torso area. The core muscles, which are your abs, back, chest, and obliques, are what keep the torso upright as you run. This reduces wobbling as you move your arms and legs.
When you run, core strength will allow your hips, pelvis, and lower back to work together smoothly, with less rocking. This will mean less excess energy spent, so you won’t get tired as easily and get to run for longer without feeling fatigued.
Furthermore, core strength will improve your balance, so you get to recover quickly in case of small or large missteps.
If you’re a distance runner, then core strength is especially important. When you’re fatigued from marathons and long runs, your form may end up suffering, which slows you down and increases the risk of potential injuries. When you build your core strength, you can maintain better posture while reducing pains resulted from poor form and posture.
Besides this, building your core strength will definitely help in other situations and sports. Plus, it can help define your abs and upper body, which is great for confidence and if you want to show off your abs!
Core Exercises for Runners
Now that you know about the benefits and importance of core strength for runners, what are exercises you can follow? You won’t need to head to the gym or spend a ton of money on memberships or weights. There are bodyweight exercises you can follow and perform in the comforts of your home!
When thinking of your strength training routine, make sure to add any of these core exercises for runners:
This is one of the most popular core strength exercises! The plank is an all-around exercise that improves core strength over time when you practice it regularly. Plus, you don’t need any equipment at all and you can follow many variations of this to work on different parts of your core.
When doing the plank, don’t forget to breathe, taking slow and steady breaths as you do so. Also, don’t lift your butt up too high in the air, as it should be in line with the shoulder girdle.
For those who find the forearm plank too challenging for now, try knee planks by resting the knees on the floor to lessen the stress in your lower back.
When doing the plank, place your forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below your shoulders. Your arms should be parallel to your body with a shoulder-width distance.
Ground your toes on the floor, squeezing your glutes to further stabilize the body, don’t hyperextend, or lock your knees. Keep your neck and spine neutral and look down on the floor, with the head in line with your back. Hold this position for around half a minute or for as long as you can with proper form, increasing the time as you become stronger.
V-ups are another awesome core body exercise that will have you lift your arm and leg weight using your ab muscles. This works on different ab muscles for more of a challenge, making this move a more intense way to help with core strength compared to planks. It also develops your balance and coordination!
To do this move, lie on your back, extending arms behind your head. Keep your feet together with toes pointed and legs straight. Then, lift your legs up as you raise your upper body off the floor at the same time.
As you perform this move, keep the core engage, reaching your toes with your hands. Then slowly lower yourself down, back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for at least ten reps per set.
3. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are slightly more advanced, an all-body workout that gets the heart rate going. This exercise would work the muscles in your arms, abs, hips, shoulders, and upper legs.
All you need to do is to position yourself in an elevated plank position, then bring one knee up to your elbow, then return it to your starting position, repeating the same move with the other knee. Repeat the move with a fixed number of sets and reps.
Make sure that while doing mountain climbers, your hips and lower back remain in a neutral position.
Wrapping It Up
Strength training is crucial for runners, as you need a strong and well-balanced body for optimum health and to increase your race performance. While you should work on all major muscles, your core is one of the vital parts to focus on. Fortunately, you won’t need an expensive gym membership, just your own body weight to work on your core!
Do you want to learn more about what core exercises for runners you can follow? Check out this informative video:
I hope that this article helped explain core exercises for runners and what moves you can do to strengthen that core! So, don’t wait any longer and begin planning a strength training routine to get to your goals.
Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and core exercises for runners? Share it in the comments section below, all your thoughts are much appreciated!