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Rest Day – Focusing on core

June 28, 2013

After yesterdays run in normal trainers I ache like mad. So I’ll not do that again, it really shows it was worth forking out an arm and a leg on decent running shoes. So today I am having a rest day, that’s my excuse!

I have been to the gym though, so I’m not just slobbing out ūüôā I also include a brief fast walk just so my legs don’t freeze up before the next run.

I have been looking around at exercises supporting running and found some good core exercises here. I shall be doing core exercises most days from now on.

Here’s how your core works for you on the road

Speed

As you extend your stride or quicken the rate of your leg and foot turnover when you’re trying to pick up your pace, the lower abs-including the transversus and rectus abdominis-and lower back are called into action. The stronger and more stable these muscles are, the more force and speed you can generate as you push off the ground.

Uphills

The glutes and lower abs support the pelvis, which connects to the leg muscles needed to get uphill. If the core is strong, the legs will have a stable plane to push from, for a more powerful ascent. When you swing your leg forward, the hip-flexor muscles, such as the rectus femoris, pull on the pelvis. As you push off the ground, the glutes and hamstrings are engaged.

Downhills

When you’re flying down a slope, you need strong gluteal muscles to help absorb the impact and counter the momentum of the forward motion. As fun as it may be to zoom down, without the core strength to control your movement, your quads and knee joints bear the extra pounding of your body weight, which can lead to fatigue, pain, and even injury.

Endurance

As you’re nearing the end of a race, a solid core helps you maintain proper form and run efficiently, even through fatigue. With strong lower abs and lower-back muscles, such as the erector spinae, it’s easier to stay upright. If your core is weak, you may end up shuffling, slouching, and putting too much stress on your hips, knees, and shins.

Lateral Movement

Whenever you have to suddenly move to the side-to turn the corner on a track, dodge a pothole, or navigate undulating terrain-the obliques provide stability and help keep you upright. If your core is weak, then you may end up leaning into the movement, which can put excess weight and strain on the joints in your legs and feet.

Beyond Crunches

The 15-minute workout designed just for runners

The workout is devised to strengthen the specific muscles runners need for bounding up hills, sprinting to the finish, enduring long distances, and preventing common running injuries.

Superman

What It Hits: transversus abdominis (deep abs) and erector spinae (lower back)

Start facedown on the floor, with your arms and legs extended out front. Raise your head, your left arm, and right leg about five inches off the floor. Hold for three counts, then lower. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Do up to 10 reps on each side.

Keep It Honest:¬†Don’t raise your shoulders too much.

Make It Harder: Lift both arms and legs at the same time.

Bridge

What It Hits: glutes and hamstrings

Lie faceup on the floor, with your knees bent 90 degrees, your feet on the floor. Lift your hips and back off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Lower to the floor and repeat 10 to 12 times.

Keep It Honest:¬†Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, and don’t let your spine sag.

Make It Harder: Straighten one leg once your hips are lifted.

Metronome

What It Hits: obliques

Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and raised over your hips, with your ankles parallel to the ground, your feet lifted, and your arms extended outward. Rotate your legs to the left side, bringing your knees as close to the floor as possible without touching.
Return to the center, then move your knees to the right side. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.

Keep It Honest: Make sure not to swing your hips or use momentum; start the movement from your core and continue to move slowly from side to side.

Make It Harder: Keep your legs straight.

Plank

What It Hits: transversus abdominis and lower back

Begin facedown on the floor, propped up on your forearms, with knees and feet together. With your elbows under your shoulders, lift your torso, legs, and hips in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 10 seconds. Raise your right leg a few inches, keeping the rest of the body still. Lower and repeat with your left leg.

Keep It Honest:¬†Pull in your belly and don’t let your hips sag.

Make It Harder: Extend the time of the exercise. Each time you lift your leg, hold it for 15 to 20 seconds.

Side Plank

What It Hits: obliques, transversus abdominis, lower back, hips, and glutes

Lie on your right side, supporting your upper body on your right forearm, with your left arm at your left side. Lift your hips and, keeping your body weight supported on the forearm and the side of the right foot, extend your left arm above your shoulder. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Keep It Honest:¬†Keep your hips up; don’t let them sag.

Make It Harder: Support your upper body with your right hand, instead of your forearm.

In addition to these I will also be doing Russian twists.

 

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From → Running Tips

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