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Core Training for Runners (Ultimate Workout)

Core Training for Runners (Ultimate Workout) https://sportssamurai.com

Strength or resistance training is essential for runners. It doesn’t matter if you’re running to lose weight, or just doing it as a hobby. Your core is one of the most important aspects here (you’ll find out why below!). Maybe you don’t know the best core exercises to do. Or maybe you just want a variety of exercises so you can pick and choose as you wish. Sports Samurai has you covered. This article on core training for runners will help you with all of the above.

Core Training for Runners

Why is core training important for runners?

A strong core helps runners with their stability, balance, posture and overall control. This can help to improve a runner’s speed and avoid some common injuries. It helps to prevent pain, reduces wear and tear of joints, and reduces the chance of damage to muscles and bones.

Working on your core is something often overlooked by runners. It shouldn’t be, however. It doesn’t take long to do, and it can make a significant difference.

Before we get started…

You might notice that not all of these exercises specifically focus on the abdominal muscles. This is intentional. We added them to the list because they involve some part of your core, but also focus on other areas of your full body.

Pro Tip: Follow the below instructions carefully. Take 90 seconds of rest between each set. When performing the exercise, instead of focusing on speed, concentrate on improving your form.

Sports Samurai’s Core Training for Runners

Core Exercise Number #1: Push-Ups

7 Best Core Exercises for Runners (Ultimate Workout) https://sportssamurai.com

10 Repetitions / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

As well as strengthening your core, you are also strengthing your chest and arms. Altogether, a great exercise for the first item on our core training for runners list.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Put your hands on the ground and keep your head in line with your body
  • Push with your hands and move up with your whole body. Your toes are touching the ground
  • Keep your body straight and avoid lifting your neck
  • When your hands are fully extended (don’t stretch your elbows completely), go down with your body, almost to the floor and repeat the whole process

Sports Samurai has the highest quality gym bags and backpacks…


Core Exercise Number #2: Lying Leg Raises

7 Best Core Exercises for Runners (Ultimate Workout) https://sportssamurai.com

10 Repetitions / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

Do you want stronger hips, better knee stability, and a stronger core? If this is you, receive all these benefits by doing this very simple core exercise for runners.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Start by lying on your back
  • Place your hands next to your body, right under your butt, and palms touching the ground
  • Start lifting your legs up slowly in a controlled way
  • Hold there for a short second, then lower them back to the starting position
  • Repeat the whole process ten times

Core Exercise Number #3: The Plank

Very popular core exercise for runners

30 Seconds / 3 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

Are you wondering why you see everyone doing this exercise? It’s because the benefits are fascinating. Someone would say that this is the only exercise you need for a strong core. And that’s because there are many variations to it.

It mostly uses your abdominal muscles. And it’s perfect for number 3 on our core training for runners list.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Start in the position, as if you’re doing push-ups
  • Simply bend your hands and slip onto your elbows. Your elbows should be laid directly below your shoulders
  • Push with your body up, straighten your back and tighten your body, especially your abdominals and hips. The head works as an active extension of your spine, so you should keep it in a horizontal line
  • Make sure your elbows and the ground are at a 90° angle
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds, breathe naturally, and stay focused
  • Then come back slowly to the ground and rest for 90 seconds

Core Exercise Number #4: Glute Bridges

Glute bridges

15 Repetitions / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

On our list of best core exercises for runners belongs glute bridges. This exercise focuses not only on your core but on your glutes as well. Improve your stability and running form with this exercise. Your joints will thank you in the future.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Lie on the ground, put your hands next to your body
  • Bend your knees, so they create a 90° angle with the ground
  • Lift with the core of your body up. You should be creating a line with your hips
  • Remain in this position for 3 seconds and then come back on the ground. Don’t forget to do this exercise slowly and at a slow pace
  • Don’t forget, proper form is better than speed here

Core Exercise Number #5: The Superman

The superman exercise

10 Repetitions / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

Your lower back is the part of your body that everybody forgets to exercise. Just because it contains the name Superman doesn’t mean it’s hard to do. If you’re someone who suffers from a poor posture, this is a fantastic exercise to do.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Start with your stomach on the ground
  • Stretch your arms and legs so they are just above the floor
  • Lift your hands and feet. The movement must be synchronised
  • At soon as you lift them, return your hands and feet to the starting position
  • When performing this exercise, you should feel your lower back muscles working

Core Exercise Number #6: Step Up

Step up exercise

10 Repetitions on each leg / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

This exercise is crucial for runners. When it comes to your strength, step-ups are a great way to focus on your core and leg muscles. It’s a great addition to our core training for runners list.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • This exercise is pretty self-explanatory, the only thing you need is a chair or a box
  • Start by putting your leg on the chair while keeping the other leg on the ground
  • Stand straight, and your leg on the chair should create a 90° angle
  • Simply step up on the chair and immediately rising the same leg at a 90°angle in the air
  • Hold there for 3 seconds and then come back, repeating 10 times on each leg

Core Exercise Number #7: Triceps Push-Ups

Triceps exercise for core

10 Repetitions / 2 Sets

What are the benefits of this exercise?

For this exercise, you need only a chair. It focuses on your triceps, shoulders, and abs.

How do you do this exercise with the correct form?

  • Get a chair and sit in front of it
  • Put your arms next to your hips on the chair behind you
  • Now, with control, lift your body up using your hands. You should feel your shoulders and triceps. Don’t use your legs to help yourself
  • When you are in the higher position, come back on the ground using your hands by bending them
  • Repeat the whole process for 10 repetitions

Sports Samurai has the highest quality gym bags and backpacks…


How often should runners do core exercises?

This is a great question. It depends if you’re doing any other type of training except running. If you also go to the gym and do compound movements, you may not need to exercise your core as often.

If running is the only thing you do…

Incorporating these simple exercises above should only take 15 to 20 minutes every time. Sports Samurai recommends doing these 3 times a week, for optimal results. However, even doing our core exercises for runners once a week can help, so don’t be put off if you don’t get time 3 times a week. Do them as often as you can!

What’s important here: you don’t completely neglect your core. Pick a day or two where you do them, and stick to them.

Before we finish this article, our 7 exercises in our Core Training for Runners guide are:

  1. Push-Ups
  2. Lying Leg Raises
  3. The Plank
  4. Glute Bridges
  5. The Superman
  6. Step Up
  7. Tricep Push-Ups

Wrapping it up

In this guide on Core Training for Runners, we’ve gone through our 7 favourite exercises. They’re all different and focus on the full body, as well as the core. You can either perform these exercises on their own or perform as part of a circuit. The choice is entirely yours!

If you’re unable to do any of the exercises, don’t worry. Try your best. There are also plenty of alternatives on Google and Youtube.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to join a gym, our beginners’ guide may help. Joining a gym isn’t essential, however, and we discuss this in more detail here.

Which exercises do you do for your core training for runners? Let us know in the comments section below.

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