How To Improve Your Core Strength For Running

How To Improve Your Core Strength For Running

10 minutes to a stronger more stable mid-section

Core strength – that’s everything between your ribs and pelvis – is important for all runners. After all a strong core keeps your pelvis, hips, and lower back working together so you avoid injury, ward off pain, and expend less energy when you run.

It’s even more critical for women runners who need to look after their pelvic floor, hips, and lower back to stay out of pain during the many hormonal changes we go through.

Did you know that you can build significant core strength with just 10 minutes of home-based exercises a couple of times a week?

Here’s the best way to look after your core so you can run strong and long.

The circuit:     3 x

Russian twists (30 reps total)
Standing single leg reach (10 each side)
Single legged glute bridge (12-15 reps)
Leg raises (10-12 reps)
Bird dog (12-15 reps)
Side plank or knee side plank (30 seconds each side)
Plank (30-60 second hold)

The exercises:

Russian twists: sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Lean back slightly. Twist from side to side. To make this harder, hold a light weight in your hands and touch it to the round next to each hip. To make it harder again, lift your feet an inch off the floor.

Standing single leg reach: stand up with feet hip width. Hinge at the hips and send one leg out behind you, reaching forward with both arms. The finish position is like a single-legged “superman”. Stand back up straight to finish one rep.

Single legged glute bridge: Lie on your back, knees bent. Lift one foot off the floor. Press up through the other foot until your weight is resting across your upper back, keeping the other foot off the ground. Really squeeze through your bum and abs with every rep.

Leg raises: lie on the floor with both legs out straight, and lift/lower your legs. If both legs is too challenging, bent your knees.

Bird dog: start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your chin tucked so your spine is straight. Lift one arm and the opposite leg, and reach out in front (with your arms) and directly behind (with the leg) – without letting your torso rock or tip.

Side plank: lie on your side, and raise yourself up onto your feet and lower forearm. If this is too challenging, bent the lower leg and rest on that knee.

Plank: face the floor, supporting yourself on your toes and forearms. Keep your chin tucked and back flat.

How often should you train core?

1-3 times per week after a run or on rest/cross training days. Core work should take no longer than 15 minutes.

Other simple ways to support your core

Your core is engaged through the day, when you are standing, walking, and being active. Make a mental note to tense your core to a 6/10 level when you are doing regular every day habits like brushing your teeth, waiting for the kettle to boil, or washing up – this “habit stacking” approach makes it easy to build into your daily routine.


Windsor Women’s 10k Saturday 25th September 2021 – To enter now click here.

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