Today’s post is brought to you by the number 3. It’s the 3rd of the month and I’m giving your 3 Reasons Runners Should Do Core Work and 3 of My Favorite Core Workouts.
3 Reasons Runners Should Do Core Work
1. Injury Prevention. Core strength plays a vital role in stabilizing your entire body during running by maintaining a neutral pelvis, and delaying the breakdown in your form when you’re fatigued.
2. Improve Your Running Economy. Stronger muscles help you run faster and use less energy at the same time. Core workouts allow your body to use more muscle fibers during any given workout. Using the same muscles over and over again means you get tired more quickly. But if you have a larger pool of muscle fibers to work with, you can delay fatigue and run faster.
3. Faster Running. So let’s put these two powerful benefits together. Injury prevention plus higher efficiency equals a faster runner. Injury prevention leads to consistent training. Consistent training leads to dramatic improvements in speed.
**Remember that your core is more than just your abdominal muscles. The core includes your hamstrings, quads, hips, glutes, hip flexors, obliques, and lower back.
Here are three core exercises that I try to do daily. I either do them right before bed when I foam roll, or when I’m at the gym. I like to do variations of a traditional plank. (Keep in mind that I’m a work in progress…my form is definitely not perfect!)
1. Start in a traditional plank. Keep your body tight and lower to your forearms. Alternate between your right and left arms. (I do 20 a day.)
2. Side plank dips. Place your hand on your hip in a side plank and slowly lower your hip down to the ground and back up. Keep your core engaged. (I do 50 dips on each side.)
3. I learned this series of core work from PiYo. Start in a downward dog position. Raise one leg into the air. Lower it down to tap your ankles. Raise it back up. Then tap your knee to your elbow. Raise your leg back up. To simplify: Leg up, tap your ankles, leg up, tap your elbow. (I repeat this series 10 times on each leg.)
Do you incorporate core work into your fitness routine? What are your favorite core exercises?
Has the cold weather driven you inside or are you still running outside?
What did you have for dinner and dessert last night? (These are the hard hitting questions I love to read about!) I had a mexican quinoa with a chocolate protein shake for dessert. Also, I’ve been adding butterscotch chips to my shake and it’s SO good!