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5 Core Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

Having core strength is an important part of running efficiently and without injury. A strong core will help keep you upright when you run and improve your overall stability, balance, and alignment. Here are five core strengthening exercises for better running performance.

The Circuit

Single Leg Deadlift 3 sets of 10 repetitions each side Plank with Arm Extension 3 sets of 10 repetitions each side  Mountain Climbers                  3 sets of 10 -15 repetitions each side Side Plank with Hip Dip           3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each side  Plank Walk                          3 sets of 10 repetitions each side alternating side to side 

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Single Leg Deadlift

Hold a kettlebell center between both hands. Stand on one leg, keeping that knee slightly bent. Perform a stiff-legged deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are parallel to the ground, and then return to the upright position.


Plank with Arm Extension

Start in plank position, but with your legs in a wider stance for stability. Keep arms close together, directly under your chest. Raise your right arm out to the side but do not let your hips shift. Lower your right arm back down, exhale and raise your left arm up. You must really focus on the entire core to make sure the hips do not shift.


Mountain Climbers

Begin in a plank position on hands and toes. Bring the right knee towards the chest while drawing your core in getting a strong contraction in the lower abdominals. Do not place the foot on the floor in the upper position but return beside the left foot and then draw the left knee up. Continue alternating the feet as fast as you safely can for 30-60 seconds.


Side Plank with Hip Dip

Start in a side-lying plank with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your feet one on top of the other or spread apart for a broader base. Raise yourself up in a side plank with a hand pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Lower your hip towards the floor 2-3 inches and then pull back up to a full plank, release slowly again, and pull up with the oblique.


Plank Walk

Start in a plank position with arms at full extension, hands directly under shoulders and core braced. Move right arm out to the right and follow with the right leg as though walking sideways across the floor. Walk side to side by following with the left arm and left leg. Keep the hips level throughout the movement as though a ball is sitting in the small of your back, and you do not want it to roll off. Move from side to side several times to complete a set.

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