The 10 Best Core Exercises For Runners
As a runner, having a strong core is essential to not only your performance on the track, but also your overall health and well-being. Having a well-developed core helps you to maintain a better posture, which can improve your running form, reduce the risk of injuries, and support your body when running for long distances.
That’s why having a good core workout routine as part of your running plan is so important. To help you get your core in shape, we’ve put together a list of the 20 best core exercises for runners. These exercises target all the major muscle groups of your core, working to increase your strength, stability, and endurance.
1. Plank: The classic plank is a great exercise for runners to build core strength and stability. To do a plank, start in a push-up position, then lower yourself down so that your elbows and forearms are on the floor. Your body should be straight and aligned from your head to your toes. Keeping your core muscles activated, hold the position for up to one minute.
2. Reverse crunch: The reverse crunch is an effective core exercise for runners as it targets the lower abs and helps to stabilize the spine. To do a reverse crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently lift your hips up off the floor and draw your belly button towards your spine. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
3. Russian twist: This exercise is great for strengthening the obliques, which help to support your form when running long distances. To do a Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground. Then rotate your torso from side to side, being sure to keep your core engaged.
4. Glute bridge: This exercise is great for strengthening both the glutes and the core. To do a glute bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press your heels into the ground and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
5. Single leg deadlift: This exercise is great for strengthening your legs as well as your core. To do a single leg deadlift, stand on one leg and bend forward at the hips. Hold onto a chair or other support for balance, if needed. Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, lower your torso towards the floor. Then press your foot into the ground to lift your body back up to standing.
6. Side plank: This exercise is great for strengthening the obliques, which are important muscles for runners. To do a side plank, lie on your side with your feet stacked and elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Using your forearm and the side of your feet, lift your body up off the floor, while keeping your torso straight. Hold the position for up to one minute.
7. Bird dog: This exercise is great for strengthening the muscles in your lower back and core. To do a bird dog, start on all fours with your hands directly beneath your shoulder and your knees beneath your hips. Keeping your spine neutral, simultaneously lift your opposite arm and leg. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower back down and repeat on the other side.
8. Superman: The Superman is a great exercise for runners, as it helps to strengthen the muscles of your lower back and core. To do a Superman, lie on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of you and your legs straight behind you. Tighten your core and glutes, then raise your arms and legs off the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and then lower back down.
9. Burpees: Burpees are a great exercise for runners, as they target multiple muscle groups and help to increase endurance. To do a burpee, start in a standing position. Squat down and place your hands on the floor, then kick your feet back into a plank position. Return your feet to the squat position, then jump up and reach your hands overhead. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds.
10. Lunges: Lunges are a great exercise for runners, as they target both your legs and core. To do a lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and step one foot forward. Bend your knees and lower your back knee towards the ground, keeping your torso upright and your core engaged. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and then press off your front heel to return to standing. Repeat on the other side.
By incorporating these exercises into your running plan, you’ll be on your way to having a strong and stable core. Having a strong core helps keep your form in check and can help you to prevent injuries and improve your performance. Give these exercises a try – your core (and your running) will thank you!