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Inspired Living

Fitness Friday (A Core Runner)

Sarah Stanley

It's Friday, and Fitness Friday at that! If you're a runner, are you training more than just logging miles? Your core is important too. So here is a core routine for you to incorporate into your running training plan. And if you're not a runner, that's not an excuse to not train your core!

Your core is more than just a six pack, it's your glutes, hips, hamstrings, lower back. A strong core is essential to your running performance and injury prevention. So a good standard core routine includes working all the core muscles! Here is one that I like to do at least three to five times a week. If you are new to these exercises, start off with one to two times per week and then build up from there.

The exercises:

  • Plank
  • Side plank
  • Bridge
  • One leg bridge
  • Superman
  • Wall squat

The workout:

Plank: Get on your forearms, back level with hips and neck (no spiking the hips up!). Depending on your current level of strength, start by holding for 30 seconds or 60 seconds. If your form starts to break, stop. It is better to have correct form then to finish the move. You should be shaking and feeling your abs, legs, etc., work to keep you stable. Challenge: work up to holding for minutes!

Side plank: Get on your side, forearm parallel to your feet.  Don't let your hips sag! Depending on your current level of strength, start by holding for 30 seconds or 60 seconds. As with the above advice, if your form starts to break, stop and remember how long you did hold it for! Challenge: work up to holding for minutes.

Bridge: Lie on your back, feet flat on floor. Bridge up so that only your shoulders, head and feet are touching the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

One leg bridge: Just like bridge, lie on your back, feet flat on floor. Bridge up as with bridge. Lift one leg off the floor and while keeping hips level and not sagging, lift leg up and down (don't touch the floor) 10 times. Repeat on other side.

Superman: Lie on your tummy, arms outstretched in front you. Lift your upper body up and feet off the floor. Don't squeeze your butt! Hold for 15 seconds and work up to 10 reps.

Wall squat: With your back against a wall, walk your feet out so that your quads are in a table-top like position. Your knees should be over heels (not your toes). Your entire back (low back especially) should be flat against the wall. Put your hands above your head. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times. Challenge: work on increasing your time and reps.

You're on your way to a stronger core and running body!


photo credit: lululemon athletica