If you’re trying to find new exercises to spice up your core routine, look no further, because 2016 Olympic triathlon gold medallist and current member of the Bowerman Track Club Gwen Jorgensen has got you covered. In a video on her YouTube channel, Jorgensen takes viewers through five post-run core exercises that keep her fit and strong throughout the season. Give these exercises a try, and don’t let yourself get discouraged if they’re tough at first. Remember, Jorgensen is an elite athlete, so she makes them look easy. If you stick with them, they might not ever necessarily feel as easy as Jorgensen makes them look, but you’ll certainly get better at them, which will help you in the long run.
Ab wheel rollout
For this exercise, you’ll need an ab wheel, and it will also help if you have a mirror as well. Resting on your knees, slowly roll the wheel away from your body, letting your torso fall toward the floor. Jorgensen notes that it’s important to keep your back straight during this exercise, which is why it helps if you can do this next to a mirror to check on your form. If you don’t have a mirror to use, get a friend to watch you and tell you when your form is suffering. This exercise can be quite tough, so don’t do too many reps, especially if you’re new to it. Try five to 10 reps.
Yoga ball mountain climber
With your forearms resting on the yoga ball in front of you, stretch your legs out behind you so you’re in plank position. Once you’re set (again, be sure to keep your back straight), bring one knee up at a time and tap the yoga ball before returning to plank position. Mid-exercise in the video, Jorgensen stops and resets because her form had gotten sloppy. “I always try to have good form, instead of just getting through the exercises,” she says. It can be easy to rush core exercises, but you’ll see more benefits from them if you do them properly and take your time. For the mountain climbers, run through 10 to 15 reps per leg.
Yoga ball figure-eights
This workout requires the yoga ball again, although this time, you hold yourself up on your hands on the ball. Once you’re steady with your back straight, begin to move the ball from side to side, front to back and in circles and figure-eights. You don’t have to move the ball too much, but just enough so you can feel it engaging your core while remaining steady. “I’m trying to keep everything stable except for my arms that are moving the ball,” Jorgensen says. For this exercise, go through 15 seconds per move (side to side, back and forth, etc.), then finish by holding steady for 10 seconds.
Side-plank leg lifts
Rest on your elbow and knee on your side. Your lower leg should be bent to make what Jorgensen calls a half-plank, and your upper leg should be stretched out straight beneath you. Slowly lift your upper leg up and down. Perform 10 to 20 of these leg lifts on each side.
Medicine ball smashes
Standing up, lift the medicine ball above your head then bring it down straight to the ground beside you. Catch it, lift it over your head once more and then turn to your other side and repeat. Jorgensen seems pretty tired out after this exercise (which works your arms, too) so don’t worry if you can’t do too many reps. Try for five to 10 reps per side.