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Add any of these four core circuits into your run training for power, stability, and endurance.
Peak running season is ahead for us, and in order to run faster, longer, and stronger, you need much more than just strong legs; you need a bulletproof core as well. As you strengthen the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes, you’ll develop more power, stability, and endurance. In fact, your abs will provide the support you need to sprint faster, power up hills, and stay tall, mile after mile.
While a strong core is important, we’ll be the first to admit that standard planks and sit-ups can get real boring real fast. So we pulled together four different ab workouts so you can switch things up and keep it interesting.
These core circuits are sampled from Run 360, the total training system for runners, and created by Jeremy Shore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist who has spent more than 20 years helping people enhance their running and athletic performance.
How to use this list: First, see the moves you need to master below as demonstrated by Lindsey Clayton, trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. Then scroll to the bottom for four different ab workouts to try at home depending on your goal: power, strength, stability, or balance. You’ll see one exercise listed as the “hub exercise”—this is the main move that you’ll repeat after every two supporting exercises. By repeating the hub exercise, you’ll focus your efforts on building power, strength, stability or balance while the non-hub exercises help train additional muscles and give you an added challenge. To build your core strength even more, you can find similar at-home ab workouts in the Run 360 program.
How to do each workout: See the exercises and circuits below. Repeat each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest between moves, for a 5-minute circuit. You can add one circuit to the end of your run as a finisher or use it as a part of your cross-trainingworkouts.[Strengthen your core for effortless miles with Run for Abs.]
Start in a high plank position with arms straight, wrists directly under shoulders, body forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and draw left knee to right elbow. Bring left foot back to starting position. Then draw right knee to left elbow. Continue alternating between legs as fast as possible.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your side. Send hips back and bend knees to lower into a deep squat with hands on the floor. Jump your feet backward so you land in a high plank position. Quickly jump your feet back toward hands to come into a deep squat and stand back up to starting position. Repeat.
Start in high plank position, with arms straight, wrists directly under shoulders, body forming a straight line from your head to heels. Bend right elbow to lower right forearm to the floor. Lower left forearm to the floor. Extend the right arm, then the left arm to return to starting position. Continue to repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time.
Lie faceup on the mat with arms straight out so body forms a “T” and extend legs straight up toward ceiling. Keep your abs braced and lower your legs to the right as far as you can without lifting your shoulders off the floor. Swing legs to the left and lower as far as possible without lifting shoulders. Continue alternating from side to side with control.
Sit on the floor with feet on the ground, hands under your shoulders, and press through hands to lift hips a few inches off the floor. Raise your right hand and left foot, bringing them to touch as fast as you can. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating between legs.
4 Core Circuits to Try
Power: This circuit targets your fast-twitch muscle fibers to help power your final kick or your ascent up a gnarly hill.
Strength: Use this circuit to build stamina and endurance in your muscles.
Stability: Stability circuits are your friend if you want to maintain great form that will support you all run long.
Balance: Improve your balance on each side of your body, from legs, to abs, to arms. This will translate into more a athletic, balanced running form.