The Ultimate Guide To Core Strength For Running

Are you ready to unlock your full running potential? It’s time to dive deep into the world of core strength—a vital component of every successful runner’s training regimen. At One Life Personal Training, we understand the critical role that a strong core plays in running performance and injury prevention. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of core strength for runners and provide you with a variety of exercises to incorporate into your routine.

Why Core Strength Matters for Running:

A strong core is the foundation of efficient running mechanics and injury resilience. Your core muscles provide stability and support to your entire body, helping you maintain proper posture, alignment, and balance with each stride. A weak core can lead to poor running form, decreased efficiency, and an increased risk of overuse injuries such as lower back pain, hip imbalances, and knee issues. By prioritizing core strength in your training, you’ll not only improve your performance but also reduce your risk of injury, allowing you to run stronger and longer with confidence.

Key Core Muscles for Runners:

  1. Rectus Abdominis: Located in the front of your abdomen, the rectus abdominis is responsible for flexing your spine and stabilizing your pelvis during running.
  2. Obliques: The internal and external obliques are located on the sides of your abdomen and help with rotation and lateral movement, crucial for maintaining balance and stability while running on uneven terrain.
  3. Transverse Abdominis: Often referred to as your “inner core,” the transverse abdominis acts as a natural weight belt, providing stability to your spine and pelvis during dynamic movements like running.
  4. Erector Spinae: These muscles run along your spine and help maintain proper posture and alignment, reducing the risk of lower back pain and injury during long runs.

Core Exercises for Running:

  1. Plank Variations:High Plank: Start in a push-up position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30-60 seconds, focusing on engaging your core and avoiding sagging or arching.
  2. Side Plank: Lie on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder and your legs stacked or staggered. Lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30-60 seconds on each side, engaging your obliques to maintain stability.
  3. Russian Twists:Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet lifted off the ground. Lean back slightly and clasp your hands together in front of your chest. Rotate your torso to the right, then to the left, twisting from your waist while keeping your core engaged. Aim for 10-15 reps on each side.
  4. Leg Raises:Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs straight. Lift your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight and together. Slowly lower them back down towards the ground without touching the floor. Aim for 10-15 reps, focusing on controlled movement and engaging your lower abdominals.
  5. Dead Bugs:Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor while keeping your lower back pressed into the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Aim for 10-12 reps on each side, focusing on maintaining stability and controlling the movement with your core muscles.
  6. Bird Dogs:Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Extend your right arm forward and your left leg back, keeping your hips level and your core engaged. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Aim for 10-12 reps on each side, focusing on balance and stability.

Incorporate these core exercises into your weekly training routine to build a strong, stable core that will support you on every run. Remember to focus on proper form, breathe deeply, and listen to your body. As you strengthen your core, you’ll notice improvements in your running form, endurance, and overall performance.

Stay strong,


PS: When you’re ready here are 2 ways we can help.

1. Come workout with us! Book your FREE no sweat intro consultation here. You’ll talk with a coach and come up with a plan together.

2. Download our 4 Week Leg Strength Program here.


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