A Canadian study tested for 13 years, of 8,000 people found that over 13 years, the people with the weakest core and abdominal muscles had a death rate more than twice as high as those with the strongest midsections. Our abdominal muscles control even more our body than we might realize.
Core and abs are not the same thing.
A strong core means better endurance, better strength and a pain free back.
A strong core also means better posture, which can instantly make you look leaner and feel better.
For runners, a strong core is essential to support a good running form and avoid intense, or many injuries. A weak core is one of the main issues that causes injuries, which is our hips, glutes, lower back and abdominals. Even for non-runners and normal people, to stay healthy a strong core will increase the lifetime.
Overall Benefits of Core Training Workouts
Prior to our run it activates muscles.
Muscle activation means they are ready to work and provide more power.
Prior to a run means it’s part of our dynamic warm up.
Too much prior to a run can over-fatigue the muscles, which is why we should do half core exercises before our run and half after.
We should perform core workouts minimum 3-4/week.
1. External Obliques
- The ab muscles along our sides help maintain more good stability, and running form.
- We can perform side planks leg lift, side plank knee tuck, side crunches, plank
rotation, Spiderman push up.
2. Internal Obliques
Help to twist our body from side to side
- We can work these with bicycle crunches, side planks, Russian twists. - Super important for keeping our shoulders square and open while running. - Better breathing while running. A sign of oblique weakness is that people stop breathing when performing simple movement patterns to maintain stability.
3. Rectus Abdominus
Our abs consist of an eight pack across our front, not a 6 pack. - We can work these through crunches, sit ups, v-sits, any of the traditional ab moves. - Helps to contract the body to curl upper body down or lower body up, helps to raise legs.
4. Transverse Abdominus
Lies beneath our other muscles and it’s our main stabilizer. - We can work this through planks, Pilates, stability ball moves. - Helps to improve breathing for our runs.
5. Hip Flexors
Originating on our spine these muscles help lift our leg. - We can work this through many of the hip exercises. - Stronger hip flexors mean raising our knee higher and more power in our stride.
6. Lower back (made of 3 muscles)
Keep our spine stable and allow us to bend backwards - We can work these through lying on our stomach and doing Superman, and deadlifts. - A weak lower back won’t support those strong abdominal muscles.
7. Glutes Stabilize your hips - We can work these through squats, lunges, bridge, running. - Helps to provide power to our stride, keeps our running gait aligned and ensures our hip flexors aren’t overworked. - The glutes aren’t just one large muscle, but three.
Benefits of Running for Our Core
Running can help to improve the endurance our core muscles, but we need to be doing Core strengthening workouts to truly get the benefits we’re looking for.
When running faster, we should notice an automatic tightening of our core. This also happens because we are slightly leaning forward and therefore it’s maintaining our balance. We should also feel our core activated on the uphill and downhill to save some muscles from the impact.
Runners Core Workout- Basic Pre-Run Core Exercises
2 Rounds- 10 reps of each move
Alternating side lunge
Alternating reverse lunge to front knee raise
Plank Pike- Plank with leg raise
Basic Pre-Run Core Exercises Video: https://vimeo.com/535402680
Perform Core Strengthening Workouts, Feel Stable and Strong, Enjoy a Great Run!