Posted on: 10 January 2018Share
A carved six-pack might look nice, but it's not something that most runners value. However, core strength is incredibly important. You don't need rock hard abs showing through your shirt, but you should work on strengthening your core if you want to run more efficiently.
Here are just five reasons why all runners should commit to their core.
1. You'll Reduce Your Risk of Injury
When your core is nice and strong, your torso is kept stable as you run. Core strength keeps muscles working together smoothly, so there's no wobbling as you pound the pavement. This means your risk of sustaining an injury is drastically reduced. Back injuries are particularly common when the core isn't strong, and a weak core often leads to tight hamstrings.
2. You'll Boost Your Balance
Balance might not be one of the central skills you need as a runner, but it's up there. If your core is strong, you'll feel more balanced, which means you'll recover from any missteps that could lead to nasty falls.
3. You'll Stand Taller
Proper form is crucial when you run. You need to stand tall and ensure you land on the right part of your foot. If you don't, the chance of sustaining an injury increases, and you won't be taking advantage of the body's natural biomechanics. A strong core helps improve the posture, while a weak core tends to lead to a slumped stance.
4. You'll Breathe Easier
When you first started running, you probably ended gasping for breath. In fact, you probably still do when you do some sprints or intervals. Getting enough oxygen to your muscles is vital, and while this is largely a question of training and patience, developing your core can produce dramatic results. When you carry out core exercises, you're also developing the diaphragm, intercostals and other breathing muscles, so expect to feel less out of breath.
5. You'll Run Faster
Plenty of people assume that the legs do all the work as they run. While it's true that strong leg muscles are important, the core also needs to be considered. When you run at speed, your core muscles work to extend each stride and speed up your leg and foot turnover. You'll move further with each stride while making each stride faster, and stronger core muscles are able to direct more force and increase your speed. Ever noticed that sprinters have very strong cores? That's why.
If you want other fitness-related tips, check out a personal health and/or sports blog.