As a runner you often hear how important a strong core is to increase stability as you run. But let’s all be honest for a second and admit to ourselves that most of us just do core so we can look good with our shirts off. That’s ok if that’s what you want to do however, your abs aren’t the only muscles that are needed to keep you stable on your run. So if you are looking to maximize running performance you are probably wasting your time trying to do 100 sit ups a day.
The following routine focuses on core strength, glute activation, and hip strength. All of which can help to improve running economy and reduce risk of injury. These exercises can help prevent shin splints, knee pain, achilles tendonitis, and hamstring strains.
Part I: Work what your mama gave ya
The first part of this routine primarily focuses on hip and glute activation. Most beginner runners have weak glutes or don’t know how to activate them properly. This is because the glute really isn’t utilized in walking around day to day activities. However, the glutes are one of the primary stabilizers and drivers in running. To compensate for weakness, your body can compensate by shifting the loads onto your hamstrings, quads, and lower leg muscles. Often times when rehabbing an injury the first step is to strengthen glutes to shift the load. But why wait till the point of injury to do this? Pre-hab over rehab!!!
- Leg lifts x 10 reps each way (neutral, toe in, toe out)
- Fire Hydrants x 10 each leg
- Single Leg Glute Bridge Raise x 10 each leg
- Donkey kicks x 10 each leg
- Hip Circles x 10 forward and backward each leg
- Bird Dog x 10 each leg (10 sec hold on last rep)
- Dead bug x 30sec
30 sec break
Part II: Ok maybe just a little Ab work
Ok I know I bashed abs earlier in this blog but they do have their place. Abs, obliques, and the erector spinae can all help to keep your upper body stable whilst running. These exercises can be particularly helpful for trails runners who run on plenty of technical trails and lots of vertical change. The more stable we are the smoother and faster we can run! This part of the routine is basically a tweaked version of Core X routine, so again shout out to the man the myth the legend Coach Jay Johnson (I am hoping flattery prevents copyright accusations).
- Running V-sit x 20sec
- Australian crawl x 20sec
- V-sit flutter kicks x 20sec
- Left side plank w/ hip dip x 20sec
- Supine plank w/ marches x 20sec
- Right side plank w/ hip dip x 20sec
- Supermans x 20sec
- V-sit scissor kicks x 20sec
- Plank x 40sec