Core strength and conditioning allows you to reduce the chance of injury while performing at your best. The core includes the muscles of your abdominals, lower back and gluteus. The muscles of the core include:
|Rectus femoris||(hip flexion)|
All runners can benefit from a good quality core routine 15 – 20 minutes 2 to 3 times per week. Quality is more important than quantity!!
The following core muscles are required to be activated during various training and racing scenarios:
Speed work – as you extend your stride length or increase your rate of turnover the transversus and rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum and erector spinae are recruited.
Hill work - hip flexors, gluteal, lower abdominals, are recruited uphill, gluteus are recruited going downhill.
Endurance - strong abdominis and strong erector spinae muscles will help you to maintain your posture and prevent slouching and shuffling.
Important Tips to Remember
- Do the exercises SLOWLY and CONTROLLED and make sure your TECHNIQUE is correct to glean the most benefit from the exercises.
- Lower back and gluteal strengthening exercises are extremely important for more than the obvious reductions of lower back pain. Research has proven that the strengthening of the gluteal and hip muscles is imperative in the reduction or prevention of patella femoral (knee) pain.
- Change the exercises frequently to constantly challenge your muscles to provide the best results.
- Just because you don’t have a 6 pack it does not mean that you don’t have a strong core!!!