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Why Core Strength is Crucial for Runners: The Key to Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement

Updated: Apr 21, 2023



Are you ready to take your running game to the next level? Strengthening your core muscles is essential for enjoying a more successful running experience. Core exercises can help you gain an edge over the competition, increase your endurance and power, reduce injuries, and improve overall performance. In this article, we’ll discuss how core strength diversifies your training program, the benefits of functional core strengthening for runners, and ideas for getting started with core workouts tailored specifically for athletes like yourself. So lace up those shoes and let’s dive into improving that run!



What is core strength and why is it important for runners


Core strength is the foundation of total body health and plays an essential role in a runner's performance. It refers to the muscles surrounding your abdomen and back, as well as hip and pelvic stabilizers. By having a strong core, runners will be able to move more and use their energy more efficiently while running. The importance of core strength for runners lies in its ability to promote better form while allowing them to stay flexible enough to produce powerful strides without overexerting themselves. Not only that, but having a strong core can reduce the risk of injury because the core supports and stabilizes those weak points associated with running. Therefore, learning how to focus on building up one's core through strengthening exercises can help any serious runner increase their competitive advantage while getting their running mileage off the ground without harm!



Benefits of having a strong core for running performance


Having a strong core is essential for any runner looking to maximize their performance and reduce their risk of injury. By participating in functional core strengthening exercises, you can build muscular endurance which will enable you be stronger for longer throughout your runs. Additionally, these exercises help strengthen the stabilizing muscles within your core that provide

support and balance as you move, making for smoother and more efficient strides as well as helping you maintain good form. A strong core is also beneficial because it increases your range of motion meaning that with each stride you can cover more ground per movement. This will help you cover longer distances in less time, increasing both speed and stamina. In short, having a strong core may be one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing running performance.

Now that you understand the importance of having a strong core, it’s time to get started! There are a variety of exercises and stretches specifically designed to target this area. Much like running, your core workout should be tailored to your individual needs and goals.



Kim Miller Fitness Core Strength Favorites


Functional core strengthening is a specialized form of exercise used to eliminate weak points for runners, specifically through targeted and focused movements. From dynamic planks that engage the deep muscles of the abdominal wall to thread the needle work and dead bugs, there are a variety of exercises that can help improve your core strength and protect it from potential injuries caused by running. Single arm overhead marches and plank up downs are a great way to challenge your stability and activate your core as well. Functional core strengthening helps strengthen specific areas of your midsection as well as provide stability when running.


Activating your core during strength training workouts is just as important as doing dedicated core exercises like planks or deadbugs mentioned above. Incorporating proper breathing techniques into every movement will ensure that you're activating those deep inner abdominal layers effectively which will ultimately help improve performance out on the track, trail and road. When performing compound movements like squats make sure there's no arching in the lower back by engaging those abs before initiating each rep – this will help protect against injury down the road too.


Below are some of the Kim Miller Fitness favorite core strengthening exercises:


Plank Up Downs


Deadbugs


Thread the Needle


Single Arm Overhead March



How long should you spend exercising your core muscles each week


As a runner, you know that building your leg muscles is essential for improving endurance and speed. You may also believe that strength exercises focusing on your core muscles are equally important. How long should you devote to core strengthening each week? The amount of time will vary depending on your current fitness level and the intensity of the workout, but most experts suggest aiming to perform functional core exercises two to three times a week. Understanding which muscles work in unison when running and making sure those muscles are strong enough to do so efficiently will help you run faster with less risk of injury. Include functional exercises like planks, deadlifts and rotational movements into your weekly exercise routine for more effective running results!



Tips on executing the best core strengthening exercises


When it comes to executing the best core strengthening exercises, form and activation are key.Engage your core muscles before any movement begins. This will ensure you are getting the most out of each exercise. Incorporating functional core exercises into your routine is an effective way to boost strength and endurance while running, so take some time to perfect the form of each exercise so you can reap the benefits. With proper form and dedicated practice, incorporating functional core exercises into your routine can help maximize your performance for years to come.



Common mistakes to avoid when strengthening your core muscles


Strengthening your core muscles is a critical component of any running routine, providing stability and power to every stride. Unfortunately, inadequate technique while attempting to do so can lead to injuries and undermine the positive benefits intended by strength training. Poor form during core exercises such as planks can be damaging to your body if done incorrectly; strains and other issues may result, preventing you from achieving peak performance and enjoying the full rewards of a functional core workout. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to proper posture during exercise and regularly check in with yourself during workouts in order to minimize any potential impact on your stride or performance.




Conclusion

Strengthening your core muscles has a plethora of benefits for any runner. Improved balance, stability, and posture are just a few of the advantages that come with a well-developed core. Not only that, but improved movement capabilities and running performance can also be attributed to core strengthening. Furthermore, doing various core-strengthening exercises such as planks and deadbugs can really help in this endeavor. Of course, there are some common mistakes that you need to take into account when exercising your core muscles; make sure you're giving each exercise your full attention so that you don't injure yourself. Unleash your ultimate potential with our Stronger Together program! Say goodbye to the guesswork and hello to a fortified core with our expertly designed programs. Not only will you build strength and stamina, but you'll also see improvements in your running game. With dedication, consistency and patience anyone can greatly improve their running performance through developing their core strength!



Train Smart, Be Consistent and Unlock Your Fitness Potential


Jennifer McMahon PT, DPT






**The content in this physical therapy blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The author and publisher of this blog post are not liable for any errors or omissions in the content, nor for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use. Reliance on any information provided by this blog post is solely at your own risk.**
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