Core strength is fundamental regardless of your sport and should not be confused with getting a six-pack, it refers to a range of muscles attaching to the abdomen, spine, ribs and legs. Maintaining a strong core assists in balance, posture and importantly, staying injury free.
Our blog post this week has been put together by Lucy Bartholomew, one of our wonderful ambassadors and pro mountain runner. Lucy is currently in Europe racing the summer mountain trail circuit but kindly took some time out to talk about the importance of core strength and how she builds core exercises into her weekly training.
Hi! My name is Lucy Bartholomew and I am 21 years old and “live” in Melbourne Australia. I say “live” because I spend a lot of the year travelling and competing in ultra-distance trail running. My passion lies in mountain running and racing distances over 60km. However, more than running itself I value health and fitness; balanced nutrition, movement, stretching, strengthening resting and believing. Here I want to share with you the benefits of core training whether in sport or life and a simple routine you can (and really should!) include in your week.
I have found that cutting a run short by 10 minutes and using that time for core training has changed my body not only in my running form and efficiency but in life through posture and reduced tension. The beauty of it is you don’t need to join a gym, use expensive equipment or spend a lot of time, you can even do it in front of the TV at home! Your core is your trunk and if you were a tree without a strong core you will simply ‘flop’.
Listed below are my top 10 exercises you can perform for 1 minute each for a nice 10 minute workout. Make sure you rest if tired, adjust your body if uncomfortable and swap in and out other exercises to keep things interesting. If you’re relatively new to core work, start with five and work your way up to completing them all!
- Side plank (30 seconds each side)
- Heel taps
- Single leg extensions
- Toe reaches
- V sit
- Plank – hands to elbow switches
- Tail bone with leg extension
- Roll ups
For some more guidance you can see these and other variants in this video I made earlier this year. It contains 30 exercises so feel free to use this as a tool for additional/alternative exercises to create your own routine.
Try to do this 3-4 times a week and you will notice the difference in no time, keep strong people!