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Even though we primarily use our legs when we run, a strong core will benefit you and your running in endless ways. For example, a strong core enables a powerful and engaged stride even when you get tired, directly leading to a performance increase. Sometimes, though, the sheer number of routines and exercises out there can feel so overwhelming you end up doing nothing instead, but here’s where it’s important to remember all core work is good core work, and that the exact sequence doesn’t matter too much at the end of the day. With that said, we have a go-to routine that we try to do at least twice a week – it’s sweat inducing, will make your core burn and is guaranteed to give you a sense of immense satisfaction once it’s done. Feel free to modify as per your liking and experience, and hey – if you’re new to core work all together, start out gently and don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do a certain number of repetitions and whatnot. Stick with it, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll develop strength and skills.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a strong core – especially if you’re into any form of trail running – and good luck!
8-Step Core Routine
- PLANK POSE. Warm up and get the burn going with a classic plank. Make sure to lower your butt so you form a somewhat straight line from shoulder, through the hip and down to the ankle. Hold for at least 1 min and then glide right into exercise #2.
- MOUNTAIN CLIMBER. From plank pose, touch your elbow with your same-side knee, alternating sides. Find a nice rhythm, and keep going for at least 1 min.
- WINDSHIELD WIPER. Lie flat on your back with arms out to the sides and legs up, and then “dip” your feet down towards the floor on one side, followed by the other, imitating windshield wipers moving back and forth. Do 10 “dips” on each side, take a 15 sec break and then do one more set.
- HEEL DIPS. Lie flat on your back with hips and knees at approx. 90 degrees and arms along your sides. Slowly lower your heels towards the floor, but turn around right before you touch and move back up. Lower again, and repeat a total of 15 times. Take a 15 sec break, and then do one more set.
- SIDE PLANK BONANZA. Find side plank position, and start out by doing 30 sec of knee touching elbow. Continue with 30 sec of static hold with both upper arm and leg raised, and finish off with 30 sec of hip dips towards the floor, legs and feet stacked on top of each other. Repeat on the other side.
- PLANK WALK. Find plank position, and then lower down to forearm plank leading with your right arm (right forearm goes down first as well as pushes back up first). Lower down and push back up 10 times, before switching over to left arm leading and doing 10 more.
- FOREARM PLANK. After 10 + 10 plank walks, lower down to forearm plank and hold for 1 min. Then repeat 10 + 10 plank walks, and finish off with another 1 min of forearm plank.
- BEAR PLANK. Stand on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees off of the floor, letting them hover just above. Hold for at least 1 min.
… and that’s it! Sweaty and brilliant, all at the same time. Besides working the obvious – your core – these exercises also target for example your glutes and tensor fascia latae, the latter an ever-so-important muscle in your hip that you want nice and strong. Well done, and we’ll see you again soon for another round!
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