Running Blog Part 3: A Runner’s Core

Any strength program for better running would be incomplete without addressing abdominal muscles.  The following three exercises use body weight and gravity to provide a great way for runners to strengthen their core.


Core stability for runners


Place your elbows directly under your shoulders, and place feet about hip distance apart (the closer your feet are to each other the more difficult it makes the exercise.)  Make sure shoulder blades are down in the back, back is flat and tighten your abdominals by pulling your belly button towards your spine.  Start out slow holding for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.  As you become better you can hold the position longer with fewer repetitions.

Side Planks

Core strength for runners

Lie on your side placing one elbow directly under the shoulder.  Lift your body away from the ground making sure your side body is straight and the shoulder blade is engaged in the back.  Hold the position 15-30 seconds and repeat 2 times each side.

Bird / Dog

core strength for runners


Get into a quadruped position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips.  Lift one leg to the back making sure to maintain a level hip position while lifting the opposite arm out in front of you with the thumb pointing towards the ceiling.  Touch the knee to the elbow and return to the starting position.  Repeat 10 times each side.

Core strength is a must for healthy running. Work on these basic exercises to become a better runner. For more information on how to keep you running your best, like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter, or contact our office.



Part 2: Week 5 – Soft Tissue for Runners

HIP Soft tissue work for runners

Often overlooked the hip structures play a significant role in running success and injury prevention. The role of soft tissue work is also overlooked. Smart effective soft tissue work can help you perform better and recover faster. Physical therapists and massage therapists spend a lifetime treating the soft tissues of runners.  Between physical therapy check ups these tools can help you at home:

Eqipment for self-soft tissue work







1) The foam roller provides a great way to get to the quads, IT band, hip adductors, abductors and hamstrings.

soft tissue work with foam roller








2) The stick can also be effectively used to target these same hip muscles.

soft tissue work for runners










3)  Sometimes the stick and foam roller aren’t always able to get to some of the deep hip muscles, this is when the ball comes into play.  Place the ball between the wall and the side of the hip.  Roll the ball above the big bony prominence on the side of the leg to get at your gluteal muscles; place the ball behind the bony prominence to get into the small hip rotators.

soft tissue work with ball







This soft tissue work can be performed before and after activity.  Give each muscle group special attention, but only work them until you feel like you are getting improved blood flow to the area.  Be careful not to work the tissues too much to avoid any increased irritation. For more information on effective soft tissue work to keep you running your best, like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter, or contact our office.