You love running? So, your core is important in order to help you run at your best. Strong abdominal and back muscles are necessary for doing everyday tasks, like lifting a 20-pound toddler and putting away groceries, not to mention preventing an achy back and maintaining proper posture at your desk. Here are top best core strengthening exercises for runners that you should follow to tone your core, abs and back. Take a look from VKool.com!
8 Best Core Strengthening Exercises For Runners – Tone Your Core Abs, Back With Ease
1. Back Extension (Superman) Exercise
When it comes to best core strengthening exercises, this is the most important. This exercise will strengthen your entire core, including obliques, abdominals, and lower back by isolating them when you lift the shoulders and legs off the ground. Actually, it is a full-body exercises which can mobilize all of your body to a certain level of stabilization.
Steps to perform:
- First, you need to lie face down on a mat and extend the arms forwards, put your palms down and legs backward. Try keeping the neck in a neutral position and your abdominals contracted.
- Second, you simultaneously lift the arms, chest, head, and legs as high as you could get them off the mat. Once you could not raise the arms as well as legs any farther, you will finish this routine
- Keep the limbs straights and contracting your abdominals
- Keep this position for about 5 seconds
- Lower to the starting point and repeat for 5-10 times
To challenge yourself more, you could put your own body in more of the “X” shape so the limbs are angled farther out from the body.
Or, for increasing the difficulty of this exercise, you could add ankle weights for longer amount of time in every repetition.
Check out: fat burning ab exercises
2. Opposite Arm, Leg Raise Exercise
This exercise could help you strengthen both your upper and lower back. Do it after the superman exercise since you will already be in that position on mat.
Steps to perform:
- You first lie on your belly with the forehead resting on the ground, your arms extended next to the head and so as the legs. Put the feet resting on the sides of your big toes.
- Then, gently and slowly raise the right arm and left leg for two counts and lower for the same two counts.
- Repeat using right leg and left arm, switching the sides
- Finish the exercise for 10 reps of both two sides and progress to 3 sets.
3. V-Sit Ab Exercise
To strengthen your core, you should not overlook this exercise because it is so simple. Not only does it strengthen your core, but it also improves you upper, middle and lower abs plus with your oblique muscles. Also, it helps promote your balance.
Steps to perform:
- Create a seated position on the mat, then place the hands flat on the floor, behind the back, in line with the hips
- When contracting your ab muscles as well as core, you slowly raise the legs to about 45 degree angle
- Try to reach your hands slowly forwards toward your shins
- Balance yourself and keep this position for about several seconds. Hold as long as you could. The longer you keep, the better your core becomes
- Repeat this routine from 5 to 6 times
You can incorporate the moves introduced here with some diet tips for a healthy weight.
4. Hip Bridge Exercise
When it comes to core strengthening exercise, this is a good way to isolate and strengthen your butt while still enhancing hamstring muscles. Also, you could strenghten your abs and build core stability easily.
Steps to perform:
- Initially, lie flat on the back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep the arms relaxed at sides.
- With the beginning position, you draw in abdominal muscles, tightening the butt muscles
- Lift the hips to the ceiling to form a straight line from the knees to chest
- Keep the contraction with the glutes for about 5 seconds before lowing back down to the beginning point. When you progress, you can try to keep it for a longer period of time, up to 30 seconds. Once your hips begin to sag and you cannot keep the proper form, you lower the back down to the beginning point.
- You had better do this exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions.
To perform an enhanced version of hip bridge, you could do hip bridges on one fitness ball. Just need to lie on that ball on the upper back and the back of the head. Lift the hips as high as you could and try maintaining your balance on the ball. When you find the basic version of this exercise is easy, you could try the next one – single leg bridge exercise.
5. Single Leg Bridge
This exercise is based on the same point as the original hip bridge, but is more challenging a little bit.
Steps to perform:
- You first lie on your own back with the knees bent and feet on the ground. Keep the arms relaxed at both of your sides.
- Then, from the beginning point, you draw in the abdominal muscles. Try tightening the butt muscles
- Lift one of your legs straight up, take the hips off the floor with the opposite hip
- Keep contraction with the glutes for about 10 seconds before lowering back down to the beginning point. When you progress and can build up your strength, you keep it longer for up to 30 seconds.
- Practice this routine from 10 to 15 repetitions
6. Front Plank
It is said that plank exercises are great for strengthening core muscles. The following tips are what you should do to perform a front plank appropriately.
- Rest on the forearms and warrant that your shoulders are well aligned over the elbows. The hands could be palm down (thumbs up are okay)
- Extend the legs straight behind you and rest on the toes, as if you are going to practice a pushup. Keep the legs touching or shoulder-width apart.
- Warrant you hold your own body in such a balanced and neutral position and keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Keep the shoulders and toes in line.
- Keep the plank position for about 30 seconds. Breathe deeply and evenly when holding the plank.
For beginners, this exercise is rather hard, so you could lower the knees to the floor, so your whole lower body is supported by the knees instead of the toes
For advancers, you could keep this position for more 15 seconds. Lift one of your leg straight up in the air while practicing it.
7. Side Plank
If you want to run faster and longer, you need to have a strong core. In order to have a strong core, you should practice side plank regularly. A strong core could help you run much stronger and prevent injuries. So, how to perform a side plank properly? Follow the tips below:
- Lay on your right (left) side with the legs straight. Prop the upper body on the right (left) forearm as well as elbow
- Then, position the elbow under the shoulder. Keep your feet, knees, and thighs stacked one on top of the other.
- Next, raise the hip till the body creates a straight line from the shoulders to ankles. Keep the head in line with the body
- Tighten the abs as well as glutes when holding this position for 30 seconds
- Breathe both in and out steadily and slowly when holding the plank
- Keep repeating this routine on the left side
For beginners who find this exercise too hard, begin with bent knees
For advancers who get stronger day by day, add more 15 seconds of holding time. Also, lift and lower the top leg, whilst staying in plank position. Steadily work towards keeping the upper leg stable for 5-10 counts.
8. Knee Fold Tuck
Steps to perform:
- Initially, just sit tall, your hands on the ground, your knees bent, keep squeezing the playground ball between your knees.
- Then, lift the knees so shins are relatively parallel to the ground, your arms extended
- Next, pull the knees towards the shoulders, keeping your upper body still and balance.
- Bring the knees back to beginning point.
- Do this routine from 15 to 20 times to get good results
The above are the simplest yet still effective core strengthening exercises. These moves could help you improve the strength of your core muscles, containing your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis. Thus, do not hesitate to add them to your daily workout routine. You will get toned abs in no time.
If you have any ideas about this article of best core strengthening exercises for runners, share your thoughts with us below the post. We will feedback soon.
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