"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." ~Plato
At the end of my recent half marathon my most noticeable discomfort was not my super hungry tummy. It was not my horribly chapped lips from the very windy day (they didn’t completely heal for days). It wasn’t even the ache in my hips and quads from all the hills.
It was a low back ache.
Ok body, message received loud and clear. If I want to be a faster, stronger and more stable runner, I need to do some serious core muscle training. Ugh!
Good core work will include much more than just the abdominals. The core muscles include all the muscles that support stable upright movement, so basically all the muscles through the trunk of your body and up your spine and also the muscles that support the pelvis.
Having a strong core is critical to all movement. It is from a solid core base that we are able to transfer energy into powerful movement of our limbs. So a strong core can do wonders for a smooth stable running form and a strong tennis serve (just a couple completely random examples).
It’s something I know I need to work on. I spend so much time training in my favorite activities and not nearly enough training the core muscles that help support those activities. Time for that to change!
Here are some of my favorite free core workout videos and exercises that I am working on incorporating in my routine: Yoga Journal core workout I, Yoga Journal core workout II, Runners World core workouts.
Core work is hard! But I know it will make a huge difference in my performance in my favorite activities so I am going to make it a priority. Just 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a week is all it takes to kick your fitness up a notch. I think that is a small sacrifice in order to be able to be a stronger and more stable (not to mention less injury prone) athlete.