Core exercises for runners can help you stabilize your midsection when running, giving you better form and preventing injury. Most training programs will recommend core exercises in addition to however much mileage you’re running as part of the program. The best part is, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to keep your core strong and stabilized. I’ve rounded up the 5 best core exercises for runners – and there is not a single boring crunch here.
- Stability Ball Tucks
- Ab Wheel Roll-Outs
- Medicine Ball Twists
- Abmat Sit-ups
- Stability Ball Passes
Even better, you can do these ab exercises at home when you get back from your run. If you’ve already stocked your home gym, you should have most of the items you’ll need. Pick three core exercises and aim for 3-4 sets of 15 reps three times a week.
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Stability Ball Tucks
Place your toes on your stability ball and get into a full plank position with your feet elevated.
Tuck your legs in, rolling the ball with you.
Push the ball back out and end in the plank position. That’s one rep.
Ab Wheel Roll-Outs
Get into a kneeling plank-like position and hold your ab wheel by the handles. Position yourself so you’re slightly upright.
With your arms locked straight out, roll out to where you’re challenged, then roll back in.
That’s one rep, and you will feel this tomorrow, I promise.
Medicine Ball Twists
This is one of the best core exercises for runners because it works your obliques so well. Hold a medicine ball (pick a challenging weight; for beginners, I recommend starting with 4-6 pounds) in your hands while you sit on the floor with your knees bent and your back straight. Lift both your feet off the ground a couple inches. Holding the medicine ball straight out in front of you, twist to your left, then to your right. That’s one rep.
Lie on the floor with your hands above your head, your tailbone at the base of the abmat, and your feet together so that your legs are in a butterfly position.
Bring yourself into a full sit-up, with your arms straight and passing through so your hands touch your feet.
This one makes the list as one of the best core exercises for runners because it works every part of your abs and gives you a full range of motion.
Stability Ball Passes
Lie face up on the floor with your arms above your head, holding your stability ball, and your legs straight out.
Lift the stability ball straight up, and as you do so, lift your legs to “pass” the ball from your arms to your legs.
Grip the ball between your lower legs and lower your arms and legs to the ground. Reverse the motion. That’s one rep.
As always, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise program, and read my disclaimer.
Runners, what’s your favorite core exercise? Which one can’t you wait to try out?