Core Muscles and Running

Core strength training is an essential part of maintaining your running ability.

core-musclesStrong core muscles help to stabilize your body to:

• prevent pain while running
• reduce wear and tear of joints
• increase running efficiency

When running, a strong core saves energy by reducing movement in your torso, and utilizes this energy where it is needed; in your legs and arms.

This occurs as your muscles learn to work in sync; when your foot hits the ground, your core muscles hold your trunk firm as the kinetic energy from your foot transmits to your hamstring and up to your arms.

By creating these specific energy patterns within your muscles, your running speed and endurance can increase.

Core strength training does not simply involve crunches or sit-ups.

It is important when training that you exercise each of the muscles that form the group of core muscles. The core muscles connect your trunk to the rest of the body, and so include not only abdominals, but both the mid and lower back muscles, pelvic floor and diaphragm.

It is good to add a range of different exercises involving different muscles in your workout routine including:

• planks
• crunches
• star jumps
• lunges
• hip extensions
• back extensions

Improving core strength

Resistance equipment and stability balls can also be added, as well as weights.

Pilates is also a great way of improving core strength and increasing balance and stability.

Working with a physio is a good way to build your core strength.