6 Core Exercises That Make You A Stronger Fitter Runner

Adding core exercises to your running routine will keep you healthier, stronger and help prevent injury. Core exercises teach you to stabilize your body while running and improve your form when you are tired. When you start to get tired late in a race your core helps you to maintain an efficient running form and allows you to hold a faster pace. Strength training is the perfect complement to endurance training.

The following six movements are to be repeated 2-3 times for 30 seconds to one minute each. This workout targets the whole core. Including the hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, oblique’s and lower back, all of the areas that make a strong stable core. You can do these movements anywhere because they do not require any equipment.


1. Modified Bicycle

Lie on your back and extend your right leg into the air. Your leg should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Left your opposite leg a few inches off the ground and hold for a few seconds. Then, switch legs. That is one rep.


2. Balance plank

Get into a standard plank position. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet and do not let your hips drop. Hold this position for the duration of the exercise. Hold this position or for more of a challenge lift opposite arm and leg, hold for a few seconds and switch.


3. Single-leg glute bridge

Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips so that there is a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Extend one leg straight out and hold it for a few seconds. Place it back on the ground and repeat with the other legs. Make sure to keep your hips and glutes engaged.


4. Side Plank Leg Lift

Begin lying on your right side. Lift your body so your weight is supported on your right forearm and the side of your right foot. Hold this position engaging all of your core muscles. For a greater challenge, do 10 lateral leg raises. Switch to your left side and repeat.


5. Modified Bird Dog

Start in a tabletop position. Lift your left arm so that it is parallel to the ground and at the same time lift your right leg up behind you. Your knee should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold for a few seconds and switch sides.


6. Supine Bridge Leg Lift

Lie on your back with your weight on your elbows and heels. Lift up from your hips and keep your body in a straight line. Holding your core tight lift your right leg a few inches off the ground and hold for a few seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Make sure to stay aware of your form in each exercise. Check yourself to make sure your core muscles are engaged and working. You will begin to notice changes and improvement in your running as you incorporate these core strengthening movements.