Boost Your Running Performance with These 12 Effective Core Exercises

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1. Strengthen Your Core: Essential for Runners

The core is often referred to as the powerhouse of the body, and for good reason. It plays a crucial role in maintaining stability, balance, and proper form during running. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, strengthening your core should be a top priority in your training routine.

A strong core not only helps to improve your running performance but also reduces the risk of injury. When your core muscles are weak, other muscles compensate for the lack of stability, leading to poor posture and inefficient movement patterns. This can result in fatigue, slower times, and even nagging injuries.

To avoid these issues and take your running to the next level, incorporating core exercises into your training regimen is essential. These exercises target the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis, providing the foundation for a strong and stable core.

Why is a strong core important for runners?

Having a strong core is essential for runners for several reasons:

  1. Improved running form: A strong core helps maintain proper alignment and posture while running, reducing the risk of injuries caused by poor form.
  2. Increased stability: A stable core allows for better control and balance, especially during uneven terrain or sudden changes in direction.
  3. Enhanced power transfer: A strong core helps transfer force efficiently from the lower body to the upper body, leading to more powerful strides and increased speed.
  4. Injury prevention: A weak core can lead to imbalances and compensatory movements, increasing the risk of common running injuries such as IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints.

How can core exercises improve running performance?

Core exercises not only strengthen the muscles in your core but also improve your overall running performance. Here’s how:

  1. Increased endurance: A strong core helps maintain proper running form, reducing energy expenditure and allowing you to run longer distances without fatiguing as quickly.
  2. Improved speed: A stable core enables efficient power transfer, allowing for stronger and more explosive strides, ultimately leading to increased speed.
  3. Better balance and stability: Core exercises target the muscles that help stabilize your body, reducing the risk of falls and injuries, particularly on uneven surfaces.
  4. Enhanced efficiency: By developing a strong core, you can optimize your running biomechanics, reducing unnecessary movements and improving overall running efficiency.

What are some targeted moves for a strong and stable core?

To effectively strengthen your core as a runner, it’s important to target specific muscles. Here are some targeted moves that will help you achieve a strong and stable core:

ExerciseTargeted Muscles
PlankRectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, erector spinae
Russian twistsObliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis
Bicycle crunchesRectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors
Side plankObliques, transverse abdominis, glutes
SupermanErector spinae, glutes, hamstrings
Mountain climbersRectus abdominis, hip flexors
Dead bugTransverse abdominis, obliques, hip flexors
Flutter kicksLower abs, hip flexors
Leg raisesLower abs, hip flexors
BridgeGlutes, hamstrings, lower back
Russian twists with medicine ballObliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis
Standing cable rotationObliques, rectus abdominis


A strong and stable core is essential for runners of all levels. It improves running performance, reduces the risk of injuries, and enhances stability and endurance. By incorporating targeted core exercises into your training routine, you can take your running to new heights. Remember to always maintain proper form and gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of your core workouts. Strengthen your core, and reap the benefits on the road or trail.

Please note that before starting any new exercise program, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or certified trainer to ensure it aligns with your individual needs and capabilities.


  1. What are the best core exercises for runners?
    • Plank
    • Russian twists
    • Bicycle crunches
    • Side plank
    • Superman
    • Mountain climbers
    • Dead bug
    • Flutter kicks
    • Leg raises
    • Bridge
    • Russian twists with medicine ball
    • Standing cable rotation
  2. How often should I do core exercises for running?
    • Aim for at least 2-3 sessions per week, allowing for adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
  3. Can core exercises help prevent running injuries?
    • Yes, strengthening your core can help improve stability, balance, and running form, reducing the risk of common running injuries.
  4. Do I need any equipment for core exercises?
  5. Can core exercises improve my running speed?
    • Yes, a strong core allows for efficient power transfer, leading to stronger and more explosive strides, which can improve running speed.
  6. How long should I hold a plank for maximum benefit?
    • Start with shorter durations, such as 20-30 seconds, and gradually increase the time as your core strength improves. Aim for 60 seconds or more for maximum benefit.
  7. Can I do core exercises on rest days?

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