My husband loves ab work. He can crunch, plank and damage the hell of of his mid-section and not bat an eye. I, well, let’s just say that I whine about it a lot. (Understatement of year, my friends.)
In fact, I would go so far as to say that I would pretty much rather do any other type of exercise than involve myself in core work. As runners go, I realize that I’m not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. Because core work and running go hand in hand.
I know, I know… I was skeptical of the correlation between the two as well. Which is why I asked Kip Jawish, owner of IN-FIT Studio to give me/us some insight on the subject. (BTW – I hestitate to call Kip “my trainer” because that would make our relationship too real and quite frankly, trainers scare the bejeezus out of me. So we’ll just call him Kip-the-great-guy-who-knows-a-thing-or-two-about-fitness. See how less scary that sounds?)
CORE STRENGTH AND RUNNING:
Core Strength is a hot topic in fitness these days. But what does it mean and how can it help your running?
Core training involves strengthening the muscles surrounding your mid-section in all planes of motion. These muscles run from the top of your hips to your rib cage, including your tummy muscles (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis), your love handles (external and internal oblique’s) and your low to mid-back muscles (erector spinae and multifidus).
By strengthening these muscles you will improve posture which improves breathing, balance,running efficiency as well as improving your energy transfer from the upper body to the lower body. After just a few weeks, you will be running taller and feel that you have more control over your entire body. Some core strengthening exercises are the traditional crunch, plank, side plank, glute bridges, seated oblique twist, just to name a few. As you get stronger you can challenge yourself more by performing the exercises on more and more unstable surfaces. Always perform the exercises slowly, deliberately and with focus and purpose. Start your core training today and you’ll be thankful you did after your next race!
(Fine. He wins. I’m off to do more crunches now. Grumble, grumble, grumble…)