jon-erik kawamoto fitness coachGot your attention didn’t I?

If you’re like most runners on the internet, you probably were Googling:

-best core exercises for runners

-runner’s core exercises

-core stability training for runners

…or something along those lines.

If you’re like most in this regard as well, you’re probably looking for the most advanced, “coolest” core exercises to add to your routine.

Here are 3 advanced core exercises you can do to help strengthen your core so you can run faster and stronger.

But before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to have an understanding of how the core muscles work when running.

The function of a runner’s core is to prevent excessive movement when running.If you look at it like this, it might help your understanding: blood has to be pumped by your heart to your legs, which are highly metabolically active when running (duh!).  If you’re racing, it’s a fair assumption that you’re running your fastest to hopefully finish in the fastest time possible.  What if your upper body has unwanted movement – in your arms, shoulders and torso?  Well, the muscles creating these movements are also metabolically active.  It’s also fair to assume that your breathing muscles are working like crazy to get air into your lungs – the diaphragm and accessory breathing muscles.  They are also highly metabolically active.

So, if you have additional metabolic activity in muscles that shouldn’t be too active when running, you’re stealing blood from your legs and sending it else where.  This can have a negative influence to your race performance.  

I’m not telling you not to breathe, that would be stupid!  It has been shown in research that the breathing muscles require roughly 15% of the blood pumped from your heart during maximal exercise – so blood is going to feed your breathing muscles regardless.  However, you can control or at least try to improve your running efficiency so you can maximize how much blood can feed your legs.

Basically, reduce the excess movement and always strive to run with the most economical running gait possible.  This will strongly differentiate you from the person running beside you if you both have the same VO2-Max.

What does this have to do with your core?  Your core muscles reflexively stabilize your torso with each stride.  They also minimize excess torso and shoulder rotation – so train your core muscles to minimize movement, rather than create it.  For example, sit-ups create movement, whereas planks challenge you to keep neutral spine (normal arch in the lumbar spine).  Here are 3 ADVANCED CORE EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS that challenge you to keep neutral spine and not move.

Single Arm Pushup

 

This exercise is very challenging not only to the upper body to perform the movement, but to the trunk muscles to prevent and resist movement.  Spread your feet wide and place one hand in the middle of your chest.  Brace like hell, and lower yourself to the ground.  Stay tight and press yourself back up.

Go for 3 sets of 5 per arm.

Power Wheel Roll Out for distance

 

The Power Wheel is an amazing tool.  From a kneeling position, pack your shoulders, stick out your chest and brace your abs.  Roll forward reaching far above your head.  Resist the urge to excessively arch your back.  If you feel compression in your lumber spine, you’re not maintaining the correct spine position.

I like 3 sets of 12-20 roll outs depending on ability.  (I also like doing this exercise from the feet with really strong runners)

Side Plank with Band Row

 

Set up a band around a squat rack cage or a machine.  Set up in a PERFECT side plank and slowly row the band while squeezing your upper back muscles.  Don’t move and resist the force the band is placing on you to move.  Try to perform this movement so you complete 30 seconds per side.  Do 3 sets.

Give these exercises a go in your core training program and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading and RUN STRONG,

-JK

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

I’m 35 and I started at JKC in November of 2019. I was coming off the win of the Royal St. John’s Regatta in 2019, and our crew was chomping at the bit to be stronger and faster for 2020. The reputation of JKC leached into our group and away we went! Unfortunately the regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I just loved JKC so much I stuck around. JKC is different from other gyms because the level of experience the team has is unparalleled. Jon, Thomas and Craig all mesh well together and mentor me in a way that I know they love what they do and are genuinely excited to guide me towards my goals (and beyond). I really enjoy the atmosphere, the sense of community and all the positive vibes that I experience in every session. There’s never a time I don’t want to go because I’m motivated by the team’s coaching style and I get results.

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I’ve always had upper back issues that became aggravated through work. I sought out other training and physio, but experienced little to no results. A client of mine happened to be coming to JKC for a similar issue and highly recommended it. I have had great success and haven’t looked back! I always feel like I’m getting programs tailored to my needs and I’m never bored. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been able to workout through both pregnancies here at JKC. Even on my least mobile days, I felt safe to workout because my programs were specifically modified for my needs.

I originally chose JKC to help me rehab following back surgery. JKC was the first gym where a trainer took the time to help me identify my goals and tailor my workouts to achieve them in a safe and doable manner. 🏋🏼 Jon & Thomas are both highly professional and knowledgeable. 👨🏼‍🎓 With their guidance and informative explanations 🗣 they have enabled me to reach my ever evolving goals. At JKC I’m guaranteed fun 😆, interesting 🙃 and diverse workouts, with Jon & Thomas forever supportive and encouraging. 👏🙌👍👊

Kathryn Sparrow

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

From my initial consult with Julia, she was professional and knowledgeable as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and athlete. She was interested in my nutrition and fitness goals and the development of a plan that would set me up for success.

Julia designed weekly meal plans that were complete with recipes and shopping lists. The food choices were nutritious, easy to prepare, and ensured that I felt well nourished and energized throughout my training and non-training days. Not only do I feel leaner and more fit, but I have more energy and I feel much more in tune with my body and food choices. Julia really helped me put everything in place so I can continue this process going forward- I cannot thank her enough!

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