I know, I know. We just want to run.
We don’t really want to do all of the “extras” as far as cross-training goes. We just want to hit the pavement with our running shoes, have an awesome run, finish, eat some breakfast before taking a shower and move on with our day. (By the way, do you like how I am projecting my thoughts about cross-training onto you guys?)
The longer I run, the more I realize how important it is that I keep up with my strength training if I want to be an injury free runner. I have also found that when I keep up with doing all of the ‘extras’, I get faster and that my running form improves. Core work is one of those necessary extras in my opinion!
I wanted to share my five favorite core moves for runners that I have been loving lately:
1. The classic plank on your forearms. I love strength training moves that work a bunch of muscles at one time and the plank is one of the bests for this! Keep a straight line from the top of your head down to your feet while engaging your core, glutes and legs! Feel the burn in your shoulders too. Try your next plank with your palms flat on the ground (rather than clasped) to add an extra challenge.
2. Cherry picker. Grab a weight (or not…they are even tough without a weight) and go to the classic sit-up position. Create a 45 degree angle with your upper body and hold the weight in front of you. While maintaining that 45 degree angle, rotate your weight from tapping the ground on your right side to tapping the ground on your left side.
3. Hand plank with cross knees. Start in push-up position with your weight being distributed between your hands and toes. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your toes. Bring your right knee in as close to your left elbow as possible and then return it back to starting position. Do the same thing with your left leg and bring your knee close to your right elbow. Continue to switch off with your legs!
4. Superman! Lie straight on the ground with your face down on the mat. Lift your arms, legs and chest off of the ground and hold it there for about 2 seconds before lowering back to your starting position. This one gets my core, inner thighs, buns and my lower back!
5. Opposite arm and leg crunch. Go onto all fours. Lift up your right arm and left leg straight. From there bring both your arm and leg into your core without them touching the ground. Extend them back out to their straight position and continue to crunch and straighten. Switch to extending your left arm and right leg, crunching them in to your core!
I prefer to do my core work routines according to time rather than keeping track of how many I do. Try each move for 30 seconds and rotate through the 5 exercises a few times. Over time you can add time to each move!!