Welcome to the latest edition of workout wednesday when each week I share a new running or runner-specific strength training workout.
This week we are talking about core stability and strength. As runners, core strength is important to keep proper form, to provide a stable base between the lower and upper body and to power our stride. You don't need to spend hours in the gym or devote your life to strength training to reap the benefits of runner-specific core work. Spend 5-10 minutes on core exercises before you hit the road for your next run. You'll help activate running muscles and core training can be part of your warm up before you hit the road.
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You can work to strengthen your stabilization muscles and joints by providing an unstable, but controllable base like a stability ball. Some of the benefits of balance and stabilization training for runners are improved joint stability, increased flexibility, improved posture control, improved balance and coordination.
CORE STABILITY BALL TRAINING WORKOUT
Position the stability ball under the small of your back. Place your hands behind your head, do not pull on your neck, and lift your shoulders and chest up into a crunch. Engage your abs and hold for 3 seconds in top position. Slowly lower back to the starting position. For an added challenge hold a medicine ball for additional resistance. Perform 12 repetitions before moving onto the next exercise.
Place the ball against a wall and position the ball in the middle of your back. With your feet about hip width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead, walk your feet forward. Lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, like you are sitting in an invisible chair. Be careful not to lean back into the ball, but use it as a guide to lower yourself. Once in the low position, press through the heels and push back up to standing. For an added challenge hold a medicine ball at your chest. Perform 12 reps before moving onto the next exercise.
BRIDGE WITH HAMSTRING CURLS
Lie on your back with the stability ball positioned under your calves. Lift your hips off the ground into the starting bridge position, engage your abs and glutes. Bend your knees and lift your hips to curl the ball towards your body. Straighten your legs back out and perform 12 repetitions without lowering your hips to the ground.
STRAIGHT ARM PLANK WITH TUCK
Position the stability ball under your thighs and walk your hands out until you come into a high plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists and the ball under your shins. Pull your knees in towards your chest to roll the ball forward, then straighten your legs to return the ball to the starting position. Do not to lower the hips between reps. Perform 12 repetitions, take a one minute break then repeat the circuit one or two more times.
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