Marathon Preparation – Top Core Exercises

Young Woman Doing a Plank

Marathons are “in” and rampant these days, and you can see a lot of people participating during the event. Running seems and looks so easy, right? But mind you, marathon is more than running. You have to develop certain fitness areas to last during the whole event and reach the finish line.

One important factor to develop is your core workouts. Core workout and strength training are “buddies” in running. To improve muscular strength is to work on the postural muscles. This will reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall performance. Core muscles become very vital part when your form begins to fall apart because of fatigue. The stronger we are, the better we can sustain our running form which equates to an improved execution.

Core muscles consist of the muscles of the back, stomach, and the hips. These are our postural muscles which aid us in standing erect and distribute our weight on two legs. There are basic core exercises you can perform at home to help you get started. These are simple steps to include in your routine. There is no need for that expensive gym registration.

The following are the core exercises you can start doing immediately but remember to increase the intensity gradually so as not to strain your muscles:

The Basic Plank

This is also called the hover. To do this, keep your torso straight and rigid and your body aligned from ears to toes with no sagging or bending with your face down on the floor. Initially, hold this pose for 10 seconds. You can work up to 30, 45, even 60 seconds over time.

The Side Plank

Lie on one side, then use your other arm to hold your forearm and support your upper body. Legs should be together with the edge of one foot on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground. Hold this for 30 seconds, relax, and then, repeat. Increase your time and number of repetition gradually.

The Superman Pose

Lie face down on the floor with arms and legs extended out in front. Raise your head slightly not touching the floor. Raise and hold one arm and one leg for about 20 seconds. Do this alternately on the other arm and leg, and try to do it together. Hold the poses for about 20-30 seconds, relax, and then repeat.

Abdominal Crunch

Lie on the floor with face up and legs bent. Bring your chest towards the pelvis but make sure your shoulders are back and chin is up. Place your hands behind your ears or over your chest. Do as many as you can tolerate.

Bicycle Crunch

This is also called abdominal crunch with a twist. This is done on your back with knees bent and feet off the ground. Bring the elbow to the opposite knee for a twisting motion. You can do 2-30 repetitions or as tolerated.

These may be simple but they are proven to be very effective in running better and the improvement of your performance. Now that you have them, are you ready to run?

On your mark, ready, get set, GO!