Stabilization exercises should be at the heart of any fitness program for runners. If you have
lower back problems or weak muscles in the lower torso, core stability exercises can help as well, but you should consult your doctor or physical therapist before you start.
Benefits of Core Stability Exercise:
There are myriad benefits of core stability exercises. A person that performs core stability exercises get the following paybacks:
- A good posture and balance
- Fewer Chances of injuries
- Minimal or no back issues
- Greater strength and power
Importance of stable core:
Whatever your level of fitness, a strong, stable core will help you avoid injury and maximize the
benefits of an exercise program. If you’re a distance or endurance runner, you’re even more prone
to injury. If you’re starting out with a fitness program, a stable core will stabilize your spine as
you grow stronger. A stable core is critical to avoid injury. Pelvic stability is key to preventing
running-related injuries, including leg strains, back pain, and IT band and piriformis syndrome.
You might not have heard of your Transverse Abdominus, but you should familiarize yourselfwith it. It’s a critical part of proper stabilization. It’s a deep abdominal muscle that stabilizes your spine. If you suffer from lower back pain, pay special attention to engaging this muscle duringexercise because the Transverse Abdominus helps ensure the spine is stabilized correctly. Below are four easy-to-do core stability exercises / stabilization exercises to help you strengthen and stabilize your core. Werecommend doing these stability workoutsno less than three times a week, more often if you’re advanced. Keep inmind that maintaining proper form is more important than how many you do.
This is one of the core stability exercises that helps lessen pain by strengthening the core and lower back muscles. It targets muscles for hip stabilization:
- Lie on your side with your legs bent.
- Hips should be straight and knees at 90-degree angles and stacked on top of each other.
- Keep ankles together while opening your legs by raising your top knee up as you
squeeze your top glute muscle (gluteus medius). It’s one of the primary hip stabilization
muscles that is especially important for distance runners.
- Keep your hips stable through the motion of opening leg (like a clam), and avoid rotating
your torso or top hip as you lift your knee. It’s fine if you need to limit the opening or
motion to avoid rotating torso or top hip.
Two sets of 10-12 on each leg; progress to two sets of 30
To perform this core stabilization exercise,you will need a step or a very stable box. The higher off the floor, the more intense or advanced the workout. This is a very simple exercise that can strengthen your legs, glutes, and core.
- Step onto the box or step with one foot.
- The thigh of that leg will be parallel to the floor for a second as you boost yourself onto
the box. Keep the knee stable.
- Step the remaining leg up onto the box so that you’re standing on both feet.
- Be sure to use the first leg to raise yourself up rather than pushing off the ground with the
- Be careful to keep both knees stable throughout the exercise.
- Two advanced versions:
1. While standing on one foot on the box or step, bring up the second leg but maintain it in
the air behind you as if in a running position.
2. While on the first leg, raise your second leg to a high-knee motion in front of you as if in
a running position. Then, lower back down so that both feet are together.
Be certain to use your core to stabilize throughout the exercise, especially if you’re doing the
more advanced version!
Two sets of six-eight on each leg; progress to two sets of 12
This a variation of a two-legged bridge, and it’s good for your hamstrings and glutes.
- Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Grab one knee with your hands and pull it toward your chest while keeping the other foot
on the ground.
- Engage the glute of the leg on the ground.
- While keeping your glute engaged, push through the heel to lift your hips into the air into
a bridge position.
- Hold the position for one to two seconds before lowering back to the ground.
Two sets of eight-ten; progress to two sets of 15
The squat is one of the core stability exercises that target your core muscle which includes the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Begin the squat with your hips by sitting back as if lowering into a chair.
- Keep head up and the plane of your back level and flat.
- Keep your weight on your heels, and do not allow your knees to go past your toes.
- You should almost feel as if you’re going to fall into the chair, except the range of motion
of the hamstrings and hip will keep you from falling back.
Two sets of eight-ten; progress to two sets of 15
If you’re ready to launch into 2020 and into a fitness program to help you strengthen and stabilize your car, these four core stabilization exercises can get you started! If you’re new to exercising, or have a weak core, start by doing them twice weekly and building up from there as you get stronger.
Consult your doctor before you begin any fitness or exercise program or if you are having any
new pain or discomfort.
Also Read : Why Glutes Matter
Owner, Kelly Fennelly Fitness
Kelly Fennelly has been a professional in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She design and implement Wellness Programs for clients. Along with her passion for Wellness & Fitness, she has a passion for supporting local non-profits and contributing to our community.
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