Exercises to Help Runners Strengthen Core Muscles
If runners want to remain stable and balanced while they run, they need to build a strong core. It's these muscles that prevent us from going side to side when we run. The bad news is that many runners are unaware of the need for a strong core, believing that having powerful legs will be more than enough to get them through. You will improve as a runner when you strengthen core muscles, and here are some ways to help you achieve that.
First – Stretch and warm up your lower back before you start to run. The core muscles will not fire like they are supposed to if your lower back is tight. A few runners might even encounter reciprocal inhibition when running with tight muscles.
It stands to reason that tightness in one group of muscles will prevent the others from working properly. Taking the time to warm up means preparing both body and mind for the hard work ahead. In order to get your lower back ready to perform, do spinal twists and forward bends.
Pelvic Tilts and Hip Bridges
Pelvic tilts and hip bridges will help strengthen core muscles. Both are easy exercises to perform and are great for newbies and those with back issues. The glutes and hamstrings in particular will benefit from these exercises and your body will learn when they need to be engaged.
Spinal stability, as well as the core, is improved with hip bridge exercises. A hip bridge begins with you lying flat on the floor. Simply lift your pelvis and maintain the position for 15-30 seconds. For a more challenging bridge, alternate lifting your toes as though you were marching. Pelvic tilts, which requires you on your hands and knees while raising and lowering your back, are also great. Do anywhere form 10-20 repetitions of the pelvic tilt.
Plank Exercises to Strengthen Core
Plank exercises are another great way to add strength to your core. Planks will deliver a flat belly and help improve your posture. You can get much more out of ten minutes of 1-2 minute plank routines than you can get from an hour of crunches.
Start the plank by getting into the same position as a push up. All your weight should be on your forearms and toes, with your elbows lined up with your shoulders. Stare at the floor and keep your neck neutral, as this will prevent any type of strain in that area.
Maintain the plank position for 30 seconds and then relax for 5 seconds before performing the next repetition. As you build strength in your core, you will be able to start holding the plank for a longer period of time.
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