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Week three of Sage Watson’s killer plank routine

Five minutes of core work that's perfect for post-run strength sessions

Like most runners, Sage Watson is getting her workouts done primarily inside and solo. The runner has moved home to Medicine Hat, Alta., to socially distance with her family during the global pandemic. If you’re looking for some workout inspiration, Watson’s got you covered with four weeks of plank challenges. These challenges will culminate in a contest for a new pair of Nike shoes. As an added bonus, the 400m hurdler walks you through the technique of every exercise, so you can perfect your plank. Here’s a look at Week Three of Watson’s killer core routine.

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If runners are looking for an added challenge, consider stringing all three weeks of exercises together for five minutes of core work. Each week builds on itself, so by Week Four you’ll have mastered a core routine that’s perfect for some post-run strength work.

Week Three

Plank with shoulder touch – Get into a plank position, with your arms straight (instead of bent). From there, lift one arm to touch its opposite shoulder. Be sure to engage your core and keep your hips as level as possible as you switch your arms. Hold for one minute.

Mountain Climber – The mountain climber involves bringing your knees to your chest, one at a time, while maintaining the high-plank position. Again, focus on keeping your hips level, your back straight and driving your knees. Hold for one minute.

Week Two

Alternating leg-lift plank – Watson recommends that runners lift their legs six inches off off the ground, alternating from side to side. It’s also important that they keep their backs level and arms square underneath their shoulders. Hold this position for one minute and focus on activating the glutes when you lift.

Week One

Front plank – For this exercise runners should focus on keeping their back level with the ground and engaging the entire core. You want your upper body to be in a straight line from your neck to your glutes. When doing this exercise, use a mirror if possible. Hold for one minute.

Left side plank – With side planks, keep your neck aligned with your body, as opposed to craned upwards.

Right side plank – On the other side, even though you’ll be a little fatigued, try and maintain your form. If you can’t, shorten the length of the rep (it’s better to do a shorter rep but maintain proper form). Watson also explains modified versions of the plank for those who need it. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.