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Coaches Corner - Coaching Tips

Run Better by Building a Strong Core

9:59 AM PST - 10/9/2009
by: Denise Carbone, CPT

Working on improving core strength will help you run faster for longer periods of time without slowing down because of fatigue. It will also help lower your risk for developing injury. The nice thing about strengthening the core is it does not involve heavy weights.

So what exactly does “Core” mean? To put it simply it is the part of your body excluding your arms, legs and head. The core muscles are the muscles that are located mid-back and lower back areas and the hip and the stomach areas.

Benefits of Building Core Muscles

Most professional runners focused on exercises they fell will get them the most benefits from. That means getting as many running miles as possible in a week. But a balance in training also is an important part of core muscles.

Some benefits of getting a stronger core:

More Stability
As your core becomes more stable you will be less venerable to wear and tear of the muscles and reduce the risks of developing injuries. Also with a stronger core you will be more at ease with your stride. Your endurances levels will go up and able to keep away from fatigue for longer.

Increases Balance
Balance is very important for a runner. Especially if you are running on rough or off road.

Better Posture
Strong core muscles help you maintain good posture. This also improves your running techniques. This also reduces the risk of injure.

Improving Core Strength

The key to strengthening your core muscles is choosing the right mix of exercises that is right for you. Like any other types of exercises the results are not immediately visible. You will notice an improvement in your long runs. Best of all if you stick with it you will begin to feel better not just physically or in your running performance but also in your life in general.

The main core strength exercises include:

Floor exercises
The best thing about floor exercises is they are easy to perform and they don’t require any equipment.
Yoga
Yoga includes various postured that are aimed at improving your vitality and well being. Yoga postures are also great for improving your torso strength, flexibility and balance.

Pilates
This is a more dynamic version of yoga that includes calisthenics and stretching. Most moves are in Pilates involves holding your torso steady while moving your limbs in different directions.

No runners are the same. The abs exercise program for each runner should be customized. This is where you should seek the advise of a professional trainer.

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