Earlier this week I posted the need to find some exercises that would help build a strong core and help strengthen my back. I have a friend who has run several marathons and triathlons and he suggested I try the following exercises for a hard core. As always, you should consult your physician before starting a new exercise regime.
Planks target abdominal muscles, obliques, back, glutes and legs. Planks are killer, but the longer you hold the pose, the stronger your core becomes.
Jackknife exercises target mainly lower abdominal muscles, great for getting rid of that pouch! These exercises can be done on a floor mat, on an exercise ball or on an exercise bench.
The Superman exercise has you lying on the floor exactly how Superman glides across the sky. You’re basically lying on the floor on your stomach, lifting and extending your arms and legs at the same time while contracting your lower back. This is an exercise that you want to start out slow and build up on. Start out holding position for 3-4 seconds.
So I’m going to be honest here and say that during my inconsistent training for the half-marathon, I did not incorporate cross training exercises. Prior to training for the half, I began doing Turbo Fire, but once I started running, my body ached and all I focused was on increasing mileage and recovery, not acknowledging how important incorporating cross training is for runners. It probably would have not only aided in post-run recovery but in avoiding injury to begin with!
*Swimming: I’ve often heard how swimming is one of the greatest workouts runners can incorporate on non-running days, since it works all major muscles while giving the legs a break. This girl here does not know how to swim, and while I absolutely love being in the water, it is the depth that I’m afraid of. Not entirely crossing this out, just not right now 🙂
*Elliptical training: Ok, so you might say, “But that’s working leg muscles.” Elliptical training simulates running activity without the impact.
*Yoga: Yoga is a great exercise that complements running. Running tends to tighten some muscles and incorporating yoga allows them to loosen up, lessening the pain that often accompanies running, even after doing some stretching exercises. That’s not to say that it’s okay to skip stretching post-running; they just go hand-in-hand.
I will keep updating on my progress. This month, March, I will continue with three runs per week: Tuesdays, Thursday and a long run on Sunday, working on increasing mileage (I’m thinking of doing a full!), and incorporate Turbo Fire and yoga on alternate days. I’ll try swimming later (I’m a wuss!)
See you at the finish line,