Sage Watson is a World Championship finallist and Canadian record holder in the 400m hurdles. She’s running an Instagram contest currently and is looking for runners to get into a strength routine this December.
Watson says she wanted to start this challenge to teach her followers some new core exercises. “The holiday season can be really stressful for a lot of people and exercising is a great way to relieve some of that stress. I thought of core because it’s something you could do at the gym or at home. Core strength is so important for any sport, but especially for runners. Stronger core means more power output from your legs and arms. It’s also great for strengthening and stabilizing the lower back.”
Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between each. Feel free to double the time to one minute per movement if 30 seconds is too easy. All exercises are demonstrated in the Instagram video.
Cross crunch flex – The key with this exercise is to keep you back pressed into the ground. This promotes good form and makes the exercise more difficult. Lie down, lift your shoulders off of the ground and bring your left knee toward your right elbow. Repeat on other side for 30 seconds to one minute.
Reverse crunch – Lie flat on the ground, lift your shoulders and head up while fully extending your legs (keeping them one inch off the ground.) Bring your legs toward your chest before pushing them back out.
Toe touches – This exercise doubles as a hamstring stretch (another area where runners can get tight.) Lie on your back and bring your legs to a 90 degree angle. Lift your arms toward your toes. Keep this movement controlled to make it as difficult as possible.
Seated Twists – Sit in a ‘V’ position with you feet crossed and twist your upper body from left to right. Remember to pause and hold at center.
Plank – The key with the plank is to keep your back flat, if you can do that–you’re getting the most out of the exercise.