The core is an essential part of the body that helps stabilize physical movement and activities, especially during exercise. Building a strong core protects our body from swaying too heavily to both sides during movement and prevents instability during running. By allowing us to stay stable, the core helps our body effectively hold its posture and maintain good form when running over longer periods. This allows runners and other athletes to maximize their energy.
For those considering marathon running, core exercises are essential for training. Avoiding conditioning the ab muscles will only make training and progress more difficult. Below are a few ab exercises that can help runners stabilize their core:
The plank is an easy exercise to start ab exercises. More of a strength-building exercise, It requires stabilizing your body by extending the body out with forearms and toes on the floor and holding the body weight. Reps aren’t required here, but it’s important to keep on increasing your time with each try. Start at 30 seconds and repeat 3 times while increasing the time each chance you have to repeat the times. It’s important to engage the abdominal muscles during this exercise to get the benefits of the activity.
Lying Leg Raise
Leg raises are an effective way to build a stronger core while working the hips. Performing them for a series of reps or focus on how many you can perform over a period of time. A lying leg raise is a fairly easy exercise that gives you support when lying on the lower back. Place the hands under the glues when lying down or out to the side to stabilize your balance. Keep the legs straight, but next lift them off the floor at a 90-degree angle above the body. Lower the legs back down above 2-3 inches off the ground. Repeat this movement for several more repetitions or until your time runs out.
The Hollow Hold
The Hollow Hold requires lots of endurance. The exercise is a static hold stemming form the back requiring you to be positioned on the floor. Whe lying on your back, stretch the arms and legs as far as possible. Next, raise the arms and feet off the floor about 18 to 24 inches while the arms remains straight. It’s important to hold this position to keep the abdominals activated and cinched. Release after a few minutes or when the timer sounds.
Ankle tap exercises to condition the core. This simple exercise helps improve the oblique muscles along with the abdomen. First, sit down on the mat and move your feet towards the edge of the mat as if preparing to complete a sit up. Raise the shoulders off the floor in a partial situp motion. As you reach the arm downwards, make sure it taps the ankle on the same side. Next, move the arm back up and reach the arm towards the ankle on the opposite side. This motion can be repeated several times, as long as the shoulder-blades don’t touch the floor to keep the core engaged.
One Legged Deadlift
This exercise can be completed conveniently with or without weights. This exercise helps to condition the glutes, help support your balance and the lower back. A more challenging workout requires increasing the weight, but the same amount of repetitions can be performed on both legs. Use a support or a person to spot you while you lean forward with legs stretched behind when performing the exercise. However, make sure to start on either the right or leg first. Hinging at the hips, keep the back straight while tilting the body forward. Putting the hands on the ground, while the body and legs should remain in a straight line. An alternative movement is to begin with your hands raised above the heads and keep them in line with the torso through the whole motion. Then, return the body to the first position keeping the torso straight. Make sure that repetitions are performed on each leg.