I’ve been doing much better at sticking to a “workout” plan this week.

I don’t have any crazy plan ahead of time, or high intensity things planned. I simply have one goal:

An abdominal workout every day

It is that simple.

I have been throwing in some upper body weights as well, but that is just extra.

The benefits that a stronger core bring to your body when it comes to running are amazing.

Core Strength

1. Helps to increase your speed.

I think this was all I needed to hear. Seriously though, when you try to increase your speed and leg turnover your lower abdominals are targeted.

The stronger your abdominals are the more speed and force your body can use to push your off the ground.

2. Creates more efficient running.

Efficiency with running is determined by your form.  Your form can either help your tremendously or hurt you.

As you strengthen your abdominal muscles it enables you to run with a more efficient and stronger form.

3. Injury avoidance during quick movements.

We’ve all been there – you are running along and then all the sudden a large rock, pothole, snake, stick, or something gets in your way and we have to do a quick lateral movement to avoid it.

These lateral movements are actually very dangerous, and often can lead to injury.

Strengthening your core allows your body to gain stability and and helps keep you upright when having to make a sudden or unexpected movement.

4. Improves posture.

As your core strengthens your posture improves.  It causes your body to stand more upright and in alignment.

This does several great things for running including improving your form and breathing while running.

Each of these can help to avoid injury.

5. Helps avoid fatigue in your arms and legs while running.

We all know the more tired we get, the worse our form gets.  This actually puts more pressure on our arms and legs.  If you slouch or lose your form you put more strain on your legs and end up using more energy than is needed by pumping harder with your arms.

These are just natural things that your body does without even realizing it.

Once again, strengthening your core helps your body to stay up right and avoids the late run/race slouch.  This will take pressure off your legs and help you save your energy.

It all boils down to increasing your core strength decreases your chance of injury and improves your form and performance as a runner. 

 

Here are a few of the core exercises I did today:

(There are so many core exercises out there, but I have chosen the ones that do not add any extra pressure on my leg at the moment. Always play it safe, especially when coming back from injury.)

1. The Superman

2. The Metronome

3. Abdominal Crunches w/ Bicycle Twist

4. Mason Twists

 

Some other great ab exercises:

(I can’t current do these due to the pressure they put on the legs)

1. Plank

2. Bridge

3. Side Plank

 

So tell me, what are some of your favorite ab workouts?

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