Core Exercises for Runners


If you want to cover more ground as a runner and increase the distance and route you wish to take, then it is preferable to get some exercise besides running.

There are many exercises that you can engage in when designing a workout routine. Exercizes that would best complement your running activities and boost your leg strength. This would, in turn, increase your pace and endurance in the long run as well. Engaging your core is something that you should aim to do.

Many athletes and runners overlook their core muscles when formulating their training plans. Little do they know that these are one of the most important muscles to focus on. Especially if the main purpose of designing this program is to help increase your running duration and speed.

Marathon runners and park joggers who wish to reach their fitness goals should not overlook the importance of core strength. Enhancing this will have a positive effect on one’s performance, no matter where they are in their running journey.

Let us discuss the importance of engaging your core muscles in a bit more detail and highlight some exercises that are preferred to add to your training schedule as a runner.

The Importance of Engaging Your Core as a Runner

In order to better understand why engaging your core is such an essential thing to do as a runner, we must first understand what exactly your core is.

By definition, the core mainly consists of the central part of your body, which includes the muscles located in the pelvis, hips, stomach, and lower back as well.

It is the responsibility of your core to keep your body together and properly stabilize yourself while you are working out.

Due to this, a strong core is needed to prevent your body from swaying too strongly. That can cause muscle imbalance and damage your body.

In addition to that, engaging your core is especially important if you are running. Solid core muscles can help you become stable while you are out on your run.

This increased stability when running also has other benefits associated with it. It will help you efficiently hold your posture, which is key in helping you maintain a firm running form consistently throughout your run.

Having correct form is essential while performing any sort of physical activity. It helps you dispense your energy as efficiently as possible Proper form is something that is important on your run as well.

To sum everything up, the importance of having a strong core as a runner cannot be understated because it is the source of your stability.

Well-developed core muscles help your body perform physical activities with more efficiency. They will also increase your endurance, give you better balance, and essentially improve your balance on uneven terrain. This is particularly useful when trail running.

Best Core Exercises for Runners

Even when trying to find exercises that engage your core, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind as a runner.

One of those things is that the exercises should mainly consist of those which can improve your ability to hold an isometric hold. It should also further strengthen your capabilities when it comes to dynamic movement as well.

Fortunately, after some extensive research and testing, we have gathered up a couple of core exercises that have proven to positively affect your capabilities as a runner.

#1: The Plank

The plank is one of those exercises that is easy to do but difficult to master. It does not require any equipment, all you need is a nice yoga mat and a stopwatch, and you can perform the plank.

This exercise may seem simple at first, but it is known to be one of the most gruesome core exercises when performed for long durations.

Unlike most of the exercises on this list, the plank is not done in reps but is performed according to the time duration.

The goal of this exercise is to maintain a specific position for as long as you can. The process of performing the plank is simple enough:

  • Pick a spot where you can lie comfortably and lie down flat on the ground
  • Lift yourself up using your elbows and toes so that they are the only points of contact
  • Hold your body steady in a straight line for as much of a duration as possible

#2: The Lying Leg Exercise

Legs raising with mini fitness ball.The lying leg is a great exercise to do for a runner due to the benefits it has on your core. Not only will performing this exercise help you strengthen your core muscles, but it also helps in building up your hip muscles as well.

In order to do this exercise, you have to:

  • Just like with the plank, find a nice spot on the floor where you can comfortably lie flat. However, this time lie on your back rather than your stomach. Put your hands behind your back, specifically under your glutes, in order to stabilize yourself.
  • Make sure that your legs are straight. Lift them off the floor so that they make a 90-degree angle and are above your body. After that, lower your legs to the starting position to finish one rep.

#3: One-Legged Deadlift

The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done with or without free weights. It is also great for the overall development of your core.

The one-legged deadlift is designed in a way that strengthens your glutes and your lower back, improving your balance which is essential for runners.

How to perform this exercise:

  • Lean forward on your chosen spot so that your legs are stretched behind you while you are performing this exercise.
  • Tilt your body forward while hinging your hips, making sure to keep your back straight.
  • As you are hinging yourself towards the ground, ensure that your hands reach the floor. When in the bottom position, your legs and body should be straight as well.


It’s important for runners to strengthen their core, as this can help improve overall performance and endurance. Working on core muscles through exercises that engage your glutes and legs will help them be at their best. Performing activities such as planks, bicycle crunches and other stability movements are essential to build strength in.


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