It’s another edition of Monthly Workouts for Runners BY Runners. Here’s the previous month’s workouts if you missed them:
This month the focus is on core workouts.
When I was sidelined with my first running injury, the importance of a strong core was drilled into my head by my physical therapist. I knew that core strength was important for a runner (and everybody) in injury prevention. More and more research shows that any lower body injury (feet, ankles, knees, hips) stems from a weak core. I thought I was doing a pretty good job in training it. I did my planks and side planks daily holding each for 3-4 minutes. I worked my low back and hips 3x/week in yoga or with other exercises. So when Heather started testing my core strength and balance, I was shocked at how poorly I scored.
Here’s a simple way to test your core strength:
With bare feet, stand facing a full length mirror. Shift your weight to your right foot. Your left food doesn’t even have to come off the ground. Watch what happens to your body. Does your hip stick out as you shift your weight to the side? Does your entire body lean over? Do you fall over?
If any of those happen, it means that your core is tight, but not strong. Every time you take a step your body is out of balance and you sway from side to side. Walking is essentially a series of one-legged stands. If you can’t stand on one leg without some part of your body sticking out to that side, you end up rocking or waddling when you walk. A truly strong core is mobile and relaxed enough to allow you to shift your weight from side to side without all that extra unnecessary motion. The same applies with running.
The core area is made up of your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. These muscles are vital in:
- Improving your balance and stability
- Makes activities of daily living (ADLs) easier
- Improves your athletic and fitness performance
FYI – While I am a certified RRCA Running Coach, I am not your coach. Listen to your body and it’s limitations. Please check with your physician if you are new to exercise or have any questions regarding your health and exercise.
And here are even more Core Workouts from 5 of my running friends. Pin away so you have a stash of workouts on hand whenever you need it.
Nellie brings a great workout specifically for anyone who’s had Diastasis Recti.
Carly has a great workout that features Quadripeds. FYI – I had to Google what that was. I call it Bird Dog but Quadriped sounds so much cooler!
Sarah has a quick workout that can easily be done post run.
And Allie has a killer video of all your favorite (or least favorite) core moves.
There you go – get working on that strong core now!
What’s your favorite exercise for working your core?