An important part of any running program is a core strength routine. This consists of strengthening muscles around your core such as your abdominal region. With a good strong core, you’ll avoid any twisting motion during your running meaning better efficiency, less wasted energy and certainly avoiding a sore lower back. Have you ever seen someone running and they’ve had a lot of swing through the shoulders, seemingly rotating through their mid-section. The likely cause is a lack of strength in their midsection and core. A good strong core also supports the muscles above and below so it’s important in terms of getting a core strength routine that’s relevant to running.

The best exercise for strengthening your core is a plank. This is sometimes referred to as a prone hold too and is a great workout for your core and midsection. In our Run Routine, the core strength routine is a plank routine that involves the following:

Plank Routine

Start in the flat plank position and hold for a period of time (suggestion: 30 seconds)
Move into the side plank position on your LEFT side for a period of time (suggestion: 15 seconds)
Move into the flat plank position and hold for a period of time (suggestion: 30 seconds)
Move into the side plank position on your RIGHT side for a period of time (suggestion: 15 seconds)
Move into the flat plank position and hold for a period of time (suggestion: 30 seconds)

 

Just in case you’ve not done a plank before and wondering what your form should look like, here’s a link to a good Youtube video showing you how to do the above routine. The full routine shown in the video is a bit more than you need to do, especially initially while you’re learning how to do the plank routine but shows you each of the flat and side positions for the plank. Do the plank using your elbows to save your shoulders!! As you get better at the routine, extend the time in the flat position and try and rack up a total of 4 to 5 minutes, just make sure that if you’re straining, you stop!! Do not injure yourself while trying to make yourself stronger. Know your limits.

 

Ok, so maybe you’re a pro at doing the plank and looking for some additional challenges!! Here’s some suggested core strength work you can throw into your routine:

  • Hollow Rock
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Half Burpees

They’re all great exercises and a lot of fun when you do them as a group too!! Look them up on Youtube again for examples of how to do them.

If you want to take it to an entirely different level and really enjoy core strength training, there’s plenty of books you can purchase from Amazon.