5 Core Exercises That Help You Finish Strong
These core exercises will help you maintain good form on every run. – K. Aleisha Fetters
At the start of a run, it’s easy to run ‘tall’, with good form – head balanced over shoulders, shoulders over hips. But as you tire, form often falls apart – your head juts forward, your shoulders slump, your torso hinges forwards. That can slow you down, up your injury risk, and make those last few kays feel harder. By adding a few strengthening exercises to your routine, your body will have an easier time maintaining proper posture, says 2:39 marathoner Jason Fitzgerald, the founder and head coach of Strength Running. Do these exercises as a circuit, going from one to the next until you complete all five. Do the full circuit three times.
Works your lower abdominals with a dynamic exercise that mimics running
TO DO Lie on your back. Bend your right knee and raise your leg so your right shin is parallel to the ground. Lift your left leg five to eight centimetres off the floor. Hold for two seconds, then switch legs. Alternate legs for 30 to 60 seconds.
Strengthens the hips to keep the pelvis stable, activates the glutes
TO DO Lie with your right foot on the ground and your left leg extended out. Lift your hips and left leg up. Hold for two seconds. Then, while keeping your hips up in the air, switch legs. Alternate sides for 30 to 60 seconds.
Targets core muscles that keep your pelvis neutral, while firing the glutes
TO DO Get in a plank, forming a straight line from your head to feet. Brace your abs and lift your left leg and right arm. Hold for two seconds, squeezing your glutes, then return to start. Switch sides. Alternate for 30 to 60 seconds.
SIDE PLANK WITH LEG RAISES
Strengthens the oblique muscles to keep your spine erect when running
TO DO Get in a side-plank position, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Raise your top leg and lower it for 15 to 30 seconds. Then switch sides, and raise and lower your other leg for 15 to 30 seconds.
REVERSE PLANK WITH LEG LIFTS
Targets the erector spinae muscles of your back as well as your glutes
TO DO Lie face up with your weight on your elbows and heels. Lift your hips. Then, lift your right leg up. Hold for several seconds. Keeping your hips raised, switch legs. Alternate legs for 30 to 60 seconds, not allowing your mid-section to sag.