Core training

6 Best Core Workout To Strength Your Training & Running | Body Guide

Power up your core strength

Looking for a PB this spring? Master these six core workout to help build your core strength, which will improve your posture and help you run faster.

You’ll have to do more than just running if you want that all-important PB this year. Your core connects, your upper and lower body to work as a unit while you run. 

Improving the strength of all the muscles in your trunk will improve your posture and make your running stride more efficient and along with workout. 

It will also increase the power of your push-off, making your strides more effective. A strong core improves your balance, which reduces energy loss; this will help you to run faster.

Warm-up

Perform a dynamic warm-up that includes swinging your legs sideways, forwards and backwards before you start your core workout. Do a few stationary squats to increase your blood circulation and warm up your body before starting the core workout. You can also do these exercises after a run.

Sets and reps

Perform two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. Aim to do the workout at least twice a week as part of your running programme and workout training

Cooldown

Lie down on the floor and extend your arms above your head. Make your body as tall as possible. Inhale for four counts and exhale for eight counts. Repeat 10 times.

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Best 6 Core Workout For Training & Running & Strength

1. Stability ball crunches For Core

Stability ball crunches For Core

Strength and balance

Areas trained Stomach muscles (rectus abdominis)

Why do it?

Using the stability ball will improve your balance and increase your stomach strength and core strength to perform this workout even more better.

Technique

  • Lie with your lower back on a stability ball
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart
  • Place your hands on your temples
  • Look up to the ceiling
  • Lift your head and shoulders about two inches off the ball
  • Slowly return

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Use slow controlled movements to prevent bouncing on the ball.

2. Toe taps

Toe taps

Strength

Areas trained Stomach and lower stomach muscles (rectus abdominals, transversus abdominis)

Why do it?

This workout improves the strength in the lower part of your stomach muscles. The lower part of your stomach muscles is normally weaker because they get less training to strengthen the core portion.

Technique

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your arms next to your body
  • Lift your legs up to form a right angle in your hips and knees
  • Push your lower back into the floor
  • Slowly lower your legs until your feet touch the floor
  • Lift your legs up

Reduce your range of motion if your back lifts off the floor.

3. Stability ball cross exercise

Stability ball cross exercise

Strength and balance

Areas trained Stomach (six-pack), side muscles (rectus abdominis, obliques)

Why do it?

Incorporating the stability ball will improve your balance and your overall strength. It will lead to a better running posture, which will help you to run faster and overall strength of your workout.

Technique

  • Lie with your lower back on a stability ball
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart
  • Place your hands on your temples
  • Look up to the ceiling Strength
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the ball while twisting slightly over to one side
  • Slowly return to the centre position and repeat the move to the other side
  • Alternate between right and left

Use slow controlled movements to prevent bouncing on the ball. And try to be more focus over your core muscle to increase the strength at your back

4. Reverse crunches workout

Reverse crunches workout

Strength

Areas trained Stomach and lower stomach muscles (rectus abdominals, transversus abdominis)

Why do it?

This exercise is the progression of toe taps. By lifting your hips off the floor your stomach muscles have to work harder to lower your hips, so make sure you make slow and focusing more on the core training

Technique

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your arms next to your body
  • Lift your legs up to form a right angle in your hips and knees
  • Tuck your knees in towards the bottom part of your chest
  • Push your feet up to the ceiling
  • Slowly lower with control

Don’t tuck your legs and feet in too far before lifting as it prevents you from using your stomach muscles and instead will only perform a rocking movement to strengthening your core muscle.

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5. Stability ball side lifts core workout

Stability ball side lifts core workout

Strength

Areas trained Side muscles (obliques)

Why do it?

This core exercise uses gravity to make your side muscles work harder and along with targeting your side muscles and increasing your core muscle

Technique

  • Lie with your right hip supported on a stability ball
  • Keep your bottom leg in front of your top leg and support them against a wall
  • Cross your arms on your chest
  • Lower your upper body over the ball
  • Lift up until you have a straight line between your feet, hips and shoulder
  • Complete one set before changing over to the other side

Use slow, controlled movements to prevent bouncing on the ball

6. Weighted V-sit twist core workout

Weighted V-sit twist core workout

Strength and balance

Areas trained Stomach (six-pack), lower stomach muscles, side muscles (rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, obliques)

Why do it?

Trying to keep your knees still while twisting your upper body will give your extra strength to maintain a stable torso and arm swing while you run. This will reduce energy loss due to sideways movements and it does not only enable you to run faster but increase your core strength

Technique

  • Sit on the floor and hold a weight with both hands
  • Lift your feet off the floor
  • Twist your upper body towards the left and lower the weight to the floor
  • Twist towards the other side
  • Alternate between left and right

If you find this core workout too hard, keep your feet on the floor so you have full control while doing this exercise 

Strong-arm tactics

Strong arms are crucial: building strength in our upper bodies improves our arms swing, which in turn improves cadence and along with your arms straight.

Strong arms not only affect how fast your feet turnover they also help with maintaining good form. The more upright and stable your running posture is, the more economically you run, increasing your endurance. Increased strength will also reduce your risk of injury. 


You don’t have to sweat it at the gym lifting heavy weights, though. Just 10 minutes of strength training or workout, two or three times a week will have a significant impact on over your arm workout.

Warm-up

Although you may be focusing on working on your arms, you still need to warm up your whole body. Swing your arms in small circles and slowly increase the circle size as well as change direction, including one arm forward, one arm backwards at the same time. 


Perform 10 jumping jacks followed by running on the spot for three minutes. Alternatively, do this exercise routine after a run.

Sets and reps

Perform two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. Aim to do the workout at least twice a week, as part of your running programme.

Cooldown

Ensure that you use the stretching exercises to relax, improve your posture and cool down before you get on with your busy day

1. Bicep curl

Bicep curl

Strength

Areas trained Front arm (biceps)

Why do it?

The ‘bi’ in biceps means two. That means you have to train your muscles with your hands in different directions, in order to train both sets of muscle fibres.

Technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing forward
  • Keep your elbows tucked into your sides
  • Curl the weights up toward your shoulders
  • Slowly lower with control

If you swing your body or your back hurts, stand with one foot in front of the other.

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2. Hammer curl

Hammer curl

Strength

Areas trained Front arm (biceps)

Why do it?

Strong arms will help you to drive your arms backwards and increase your speed.

Technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight in both hands
  • Turn your palms in to face your thighs
  • Keep your elbows tucked into your side
  • Lift the weights up toward your shoulders
  • Slowly return them to the starting position

Don’t swing your arms forwards and backwards.

3. Resistance band triceps press down

Resistance band triceps press down

Strength and balance

Areas trained Back part of your upper arms (triceps)

Why do it?

This arm workout trains the largest part of the muscle in the back of your arm. The stronger this muscle becomes the more inches you will lose off your arms and the stronger your arm drive will be during your running.

Technique

  • Tie a resistance band with a door attached to the top of a door and close the door
  • Hold onto the handles and tuck your elbows into your sides
  • Push down against the resistance of the band until your arms are almost straight
  • Slowly bend your elbows and return to the starting position

4. Resistance band overhead triceps extension

Resistance band overhead triceps extension

Strength

Areas trained Back part of your upper arms (triceps)

Why do it?

This arm workout works the long head of your triceps, the part where your arm meets your shoulder. By strengthening this part, it will prevent your shoulders from rolling forward.

Technique

  • Hold a resistance band behind your back with your left hand
  • Hold the other end of the band with your right hand behind your head
  • Extend your right arm against the resistance of the band
  • Slowly lower with control

5. Kneeling tricep kickback

Kneeling tricep kickback

Strength

Areas trained Back of your upper arms (triceps)

Why do it?

By overloading the muscle with the use of extra weight you will significantly increase the strength and tone of your muscles.

Technique

  • Kneel on the floor on all fours
  • Hold a weight in your left hand
  • Lift your elbow up until it is a bit higher than your body. This is the starting position
  • Extend your left arm back until your arm is straight
  • Slowly bend your elbow to return to the starting position

6. 21s Bicep curl

21s Bicep curl

Strength

Areas trained Front arm (biceps)

Why do it?

Have you noticed that you sometimes have to shake your arms or drop your arms while you run? If this is you, you need to increase the endurance in your arm muscles. 21s are a great way of building this up.

Technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a weight in each hand with your palms forward
  • Keep your elbows tucked in to your sides
  • For the first seven repetitions, curl the weights halfway up until your forearms are parallel with the floor. Hold for a second
  • Slowly lower with control
  • For the second seven repetitions, start from the halfway position and curl the weight up to your shoulders. Hold the position for a second
  • Slowly lower with control back to the halfway position
  • For the third seven repetitions, perform full biceps curls

7. Weighted running arms

Weighted running arms

Strength and balance

Areas trained Front and back arm, shoulders (biceps, triceps, deltoids)

Why do it?

The easiest thing to change in order to improve your running technique and speed is your arm swing.

Technique

  • Stand with your left leg in front of your right leg
  • Hold a weight in each hand
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees
  • Keep your right arm in front of your body with your right hand with the weight at shoulder height
  • Keep your left hand with the weight next to your left hip
  • Then swing your arms and alternate them

Be safe

Use a lightweight so that you can focus on performing a full range of motion on each repetition.

Go pro!

Depending on your fitness level, you might want to make the workout harder. Add weight to increase your body weight. This core workout will increase the load on your muscles, requiring them to work harder. You can use either wrist or ankle weights to make the workout tougher. Make sure you start with a small weight, then as fitness increases, add heavier weights in your workout.

Best Overall Body Stretching & Achieving a better balance

We all have imbalances, which can hinder optimal movement. These four exercises help reduce core muscle imbalances. Hold each for 30-60 secs. Repeat 2-3 times.

1. Hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch

Balance

Areas trained Back of your upper leg (hamstrings)

Why do it?

Sitting and running tightens up the back of your legs. When your hamstrings become tight, your pelvis can be pulled out of alignment causing lower back pain

Technique

  • Lie on your back on the floor
  • Extend your leg up to the ceiling
  • Grab hold your leg and pull it close to you
  • Pull your toes down and hold the position

2. Triceps stretch

Triceps stretch

Balance

Areas trained The back part of your upper arms (triceps)

Why do it?

By always leaning over your desk, working on a laptop your back starts to get hunched over, which reduces the range of motion in your shoulder joints and upper back. By stretching your triceps you will improve your shoulder mobility, which will lead to a better arm swing as well as reduce the risk of neck and upper back pain while you run.

Technique

  • Extend your right arm up to the ceiling
  • Bend your elbow and lower your hand to your shoulder blade
  • Use your left hand to pull your elbow back
  • You should feel a stretch down your arm

3. Wall arm and chest stretch

Wall arm and chest stretch

Balance

Areas trained Front upper and lower arm and chest muscles (biceps, pectoral minor and major)

Why do it?

All the muscles around your upper body can get very stiff from working at a desk. This stretch will release muscle and neural tension.

Technique

  • Stand side-facing next to the wall
  • Place your hand flat on a wall with your thumb pointing upwards
  • Keep your arm straight
  • Slowly turn your body away until you feel a stretch through your arm and stretch

4. Cobra stretch

Cobra stretch

Strength and balance

Areas trained Stomach and back muscles (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominals, erector spine)

Why do it?

This bends your spine backwards in the opposite direction to which you spend most of your day. It releases tightness in your stomach and back.

Technique

  • Lie on your stomach on the fl poor
  • Place your hands next to your shoulders on the fl poor
  • Slowly straighten your arms
  • Lift one vertebra at a time
  • Hold the top position
  • Slowly lower with control

Be safe

Stay in a pain-free range of motion.

Go pro!

Not working hard enough? Then try tempo training. The technique will stay the same, but instead, use three counts to perform the first part of the exercise.

Then hold the end position for one second before using three counts to return to the starting position. You can also, work harder by increasing the intensity (add more weight) or adding an additional set.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. shrutisu rana

    this article is really good!!!!

  2. Jhonny

    Great blog dh fitness.

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