This new year, choose exercises that engage your entire core, rather than choosing workouts that merely focus on isolated parts of your body. As a runner, you will not notice the effects of a stronger core immediately, but when you finish your runs, you will feel less strained and more energised when you have the right strength in the core muscles.
To strengthen you core, choose renegade rows, and make it a regular in your strength training routine. This is an amazing exercise if your priority is to stabilize of the core and make it rock solid. With its magic working on multiple muscle groups, you don’t have to worry about isolating just one or two muscles at a time. This is what one would recommend for pro athletes and competitive runners!
To start place a set of dumbbells on the ground in front of you and get into a plank position, but gripping the weights, rather than pushing down on the floor. You can also go with a kettle ball for this workout, as they are well stabilised too. Once you have got into a stable plank position – draw your belly in and keep your shoulder blades down and back – move your body weight to both sides to make sure you are in a stable position. Your position and form determines the effectiveness of this exercise.
Starting with the right side, pull the dumbbell towards your chest, all while keeping your core tight and back straight. There are no big movements here, as the key is to stabilise your core. Lower the weight back to the ground slowly and repeat the exercise on the left side.
It’s imperative that you don’t let your lower back sag, as that would put you in a pike position ala a pushup. The ultimate goal is to make sure your body is unmovable, and only your arms are doing the movement. This will condition your core to supplement the range of motion, rather than working on it directly.
To start off you could perform 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each side. Do make sure that you gradually increase your volume and reps as you increase your mileage. The end result will be superior muscle strength and coordination.