Back and Core Workout for Runners

Back and core strength keeps the hips properly aligned, allowing for an efficient running style. Try the following exercises for posture-perfect performance

Reps and sets:
Perform the exercises as a circuit. Complete 1min of each exercise before moving onto the next. Repeat the entire circuit three times.

stability ball back extension

Stability ball back extension

Muscles: Lower back, abs
Why do it?
To strengthen and improve mobility in your lower back
Technique:
– Lie so your midsection rests on the ball
– Straighten your legs out behind you so that your body forms a straight line from head to feet
– Place your hands on your head
– Lower your head and torso over the ball
– Use your lower back muscles to lift yourself back up to the starting position
Top tip:
To avoid over-straining your lower back, don’t go past the starting position

stability ball russian twist

Stability ball Russian twist

Muscles: Abs, glutes, hamstrings, hips, lower back
Why do it?
To create a strong, stabilising core
Technique:
– Lie with your shoulder blades on the ball
– Raise your arms straight in the air
– Rotate your shoulders to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor
– Pause for one second and repeat on the other side
Top tip:
Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to keep your hips elevated

side plank

Side plank

Muscles: Obliques, quads, shoulders, forearms
Why do it?
Strong obliques (side abs) will help you to maintain an upright posture even when fatigued
Technique:
– Place your left foot on top of your right
– Position your right elbow directly under your right shoulder, with your forearm at a 90° angle to your torso
– Contract your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor so that your body forms a straight line
– Repeat on the other side
Top tip:
If you can’t manage the whole minute, hold for 10 seconds and rest for five

glute bridge

Glute bridge

Muscles: Glutes, abs
Why do it?
To prevent your hamstrings from having to overcompensate for weak glutes
Technique:
– Lie on your back with knees bent
– Engage your abs and lift your hips off the floor
– Press your heels into the floor for stability
– Lower with control back to the starting position
Top tip:
Don’t push your hips too high up, as that can cause arching in your lower back

side-lying clamshell

Side-lying clamshell

Muscles: Hips, glutes
Why do it?
To create balance between your leg and hip muscles
Technique:
– Lie on your side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45° angle
– Rest your head on your lower arm
– Engage your core to stabilise your spine and pelvis
– Raise your upper knee as high as you can with your feet touching
– Keep your lower leg in contact with the floor
Top tip:
Rotate from the hips, not the lower back

 

Isaac Williams

Written by Isaac Williams | 86 articles | View profile

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