13 Essential Core Exercises for Runners

  1. Plank: Lie on your stomach and prop your weight on your forearms and toes. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet, and hold this position for the entire exercise.
  2. Bridge: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips so there is a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Extend one leg straight out, hold for several seconds, then put it back down on the ground and repeat. Make sure your hips don't dip and don't allow your butt to sag to the ground.
  3. Side Plank: On your side, lift your body so your weight is resting on one forearm and the side of one foot. There should be a straight diagonal line from your head to your feet. I usually do 10 lateral leg raises during this exercise as an advanced form of the exercise.
  4. Modified Bird Dog: In a table position, lift your left arm so it's parallel to the ground. At the same time, lift your right leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground and your shin is perpendicular. Your knee should be bent at 90 degrees and your glute muscles activated. Hold for several seconds and switch sides.
  5. Supine Leg Lift: Lie on your back with your weight on your elbows and heels. Lift your hips and keep a straight line from your toes to your shoulders. Lift one leg about eight inches off the ground, hold for several seconds, and repeat with the opposite leg.

You can do these core circuits 2 or 3 times for 30 seconds to 1 minute per exercise, depending on your ability. Check out the video of these exercises.

More: Build Core Strength and Endurance Without Crunches

Core Workout #2: Focus on Hips and Glutes

The next type of workout is more focused on the hips and glutes because these two muscle groups are weak in most runners. Because we spend the majority of our days sitting down, both are typically tight and don't function they way they're supposed to.

The hip and glute muscles have also been implicated in a variety of running injuries, from IT Band Syndrome to Runner's Knee. They control the legs during the running stride and are responsible for making sure your legs move the way they were designed to move.

More: How to Get a Strong Runner's Butt

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