What day is it? Hump day!
It’s also my Friday. Don’t you love when Wednesday is a Friday? Almost as good as when a Monday is a Friday. I’m off from work for the next 8 days while my parents are in town for Christmas. I’m envisioning sleeping in, kid free date days/nights, shopping and hanging out. Can’t wait!
Tuesday morning, I ran another marvelous mile. If feels silly to be so giddy about one measly mile but I feel like I’m on my way back. Hopefully PT Heather will give me her running stamp of approval tonight when I see her.
Speaking of running, in addition to hip strength, the primary focus in my injury recovery has been core stabilization/strength.
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.
When I had my videotaped gait analysis back in the early Fall, my hip shift was unbelievable. I had no idea! After seeing that, my core work was amped up big time. I needed help!
This workout includes a few of the moves that I have incorporated in my exercise routine. Do these exercise 3-4 times a week and you’ll notice a difference.
- Hip Hike
- Single Leg Balance with Band Extension or Rotation (this example is rotation)
- Bridge –> Single Leg Bridge
- Side Plank with Leg Lift
- Thread the Needle
What is your favorite core strengthener?
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