The best core workout for runners - Juice Daily
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The best core workout for runners

You can sign up to this year’s City2Surf here.

A strong core helps to stabilise our bodies so we’re less likely to injure ourselves, more likely to move efficiently and even run faster.

But the key to good core strength does not lie in crunches. In fact, man of many abs and author of Burn the Fat, Tom Venuto doesn’t include conventional crunches in his ab workouts at all.

Rather, he opts for hanging leg raises, knee-ups, weighted swiss ball crunches and bench reverse crunches.

He also notes that if defined abs are what you are after, crunches won’t get you there either.

“This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you can’t see your abs, it’s not an issue of ‘muscle development’ at all,” says Venuto, who has 3.7 per cent body fat.

“You simply have too much body fat covering up the ab muscles.”

He adds:

“I once saw a photo of a man who broke one of the Guinness World Records for sit ups. It was the most paradoxical thing, but this man did not have any abdominal muscle definition. He was not obese or overweight at all, mind you, but he had a small enough layer of body fat that the muscular definition did not show through.”

Definition aside, the best way to strengthen your core is to mix it up.

“There is no single abdominal exercise that challenges all the abdominal muscles in the most effective way,” explains Dr. Cedric X. Bryant, Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), “and the best way to work the abs is with different types of exercises. For example, the plank exercise effectively engages the transverse abdominis, which plays an important role in spinal stabilisation.”

The above core circuit for runners, designed by running coach Jim Owens and personal trainer Sheree Webber, can be done twice a week.

For those training for the City2Surf, or another fun run, Webber suggests adding the core routine to your strength session on Wednesday and Fridays, breaking up running session days.

“Incorporating a strength and core workout into your training for the City2Surf is important to help you prepare the body to handle the demands of running by strengthening and developing endurance in your muscles as well as improving stability, posture, power and helping to reduce the risk of injury, all which will help in improving your performance,” Webber says.

“We’ve put together a strength and core circuit for you that is easy to complete at home, in the gym or outdoors at a local park,” she adds. “The exercises we’ve chosen focus on developing running specific muscles. They are functional, dynamic exercises which will train movement patterns and also help develop core strength, stability and improve balance.”

Webber suggests doing 15 to 20 reps of each exercise, noting that you can decrease or increase reps depending on your fitness levels.

You can sign up to this year’s City2Surf here.

Sarah Berry

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Sarah Berry

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With more than a decade of experience as a health and fitness journalist, Sarah Berry is also a qualified yoga teacher, unqualified wine snob, professional guinea pig and unprofessional runner.

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