Staying strong and stable in your core is essential for injury prevention as you begin to build your mileage for upcoming races. Thoracic extensors, abdominals, obliques, gluteus maximus and gluteus medius are all important trunk and pelvis muscles that improve running form and efficiency. Below are 4 great exercises each marathon runner should have in their routine to keep running, injury free:
Forearm Plank with Hip Extension
This is a challenge to your typical forearm plank. Focus on engaging abs, glutes and quads for stability then alternating leg lifts. Do not let the pelvis or torso rotate to keep the effort in the right muscles and out of the lower back. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
Modified Side Plank with Clam
This exercise is a great one for lateral stability and glute strength. In a modified side plank on your knees, keep heels together and rotate your top leg upward . Do not let your torso or pelvis twist. Control your leg as you lower it. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
In addition to its balance challenge, this pose also requires a lot of muscular strength and endurance of your thoracic extensors (important mid back muscles responsible for upright posture needed while running). Keep abs engaged and aim to keep torso and lifted leg in a straight line. Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds on each leg.
Quadruped with Hip Circles
To challenge the stability of your shoulders, trunk and pelvis- extend one leg in line with your torso, point the toes away and draw little circles with the leg. Keep your arms strong and pelvis level. Perform 2 sets of 10 circles in each direction on each side.
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