Adding some strength training to your weekly routine can seem daunting if you’re new to it–there’s equipment and more time involved, and also, runners typically prefer running to cross-training. Here’s a quick strength workout that is entirely bodyweight exercises, involves no equipment and works on strengthening four distinct areas of your core.
This would be an ideal place to start for someone who’s looking to work strength training into their routine, and it’s easily done following a run.
Pushup to side plank–oblique strength
Start with your stomach on the mat, as if you were about to do a pushup. Push up, then in a slow and controlled way, rotate to side plank and hold for 10 seconds. (You can stay in the extended-arm position, or lower to the usual side-plank position with your forearm on the mat.) You’ll feel the stretch in the oblique muscle closest to the floor. Do this exercise 10 times on each side. If it feels too difficult, start from your knees.
Static Beast–general core strength
This exercise is core-focused but recruits so many more muscles. Place your hands and feet shoulder width apart. Balance on your toes and your hands with your elbows turned out, planting your palms into the ground. Hold this position for roughly 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, begin to lift your feet off of the ground one at a time so that there are only three points of contact with the ground. Continue this movement for another 30 seconds.
Thoracic rotations–back strength
Upper body mobility for the spine maintains good range of motion and is key for core strength. This is super crucial for the running gait, and not getting the rotation from the lower back instead of the upper. Lie on the ground, keeping your back in line with your straight leg. Start with your knee at 90 degrees and the same-side arm reaching away from your body. Once you’ve held a stretch there, reach your arm across your body to stretch the other side. Spend 30 seconds to one minute on each side.
Lifted leg crunches–lower core strength
The last video from the above Instagram post shows a straight leg, alternating crunch. This exercise works the lower abdomen and is a more difficult alternative to a typical crunch. Lie on your back and crunch up, lifting your opposite arm and leg, trying your best to remain in control through this movement, which will help recruit your abs. Repeat on the other side, for a total of 30 crunches.