The Running Core

Before you lace up and get out running, you may want to rethink your training methods. Most runners do their stretches and calf raises, a few more than that do a few lunges and squats, and fewer still realize the importance of strengthening their core. Running is a tough beast, but don’t fret: You can improve your run, prevent injury and sculpt a sexy midsection with one simple move. We’re talking about plank pose. There are a variety of different kinds of planks, but no matter which one you choose, you’ll tone, strengthen and define every part of core. Let’s start with the most basic plank pose.

The Rundown:

Come down to the floor and lie on your stomach and then move up to your forearms and toes. Keep a straight line from the top of your head to your heels and make sure your hips are parallel with the floor. Tuck your belly button into your spine. Hold plank pose as long as you can. Aim for 30 seconds at first and then try pushing yourself a little longer and longer. If this is too challenging, you don’t have to hold it for 30 seconds. Try 20. If that is too challenging, drop down to your knees. If you want to strengthen your arms while you get a core workout, come up off your elbows and onto your hands. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and keep your hips lifted and abs tucked into your spine. Blast your obliques with the side plank: On your elbow or on your hand, turn your body out to the side. Stack one leg on top of the other and keep your body inline. Hold as long as you can on each side. Again, 30 seconds is a good place to start, but don’t worry if you can’t hold it quite that long. Just do your best. Take it to the next level and bring a leg up into the air. You can do this in basic plank pose or side plank pose - just make sure you do both legs to get a balanced core workout.

Running is a great exercise and will help you with many aspects of your fitness, but it shouldn't be your only form of exercise, so check out TheDailyHiit programs to add more to your running!

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