Abs workout for runners: when a nice looking 6 pack can help you run faster
Any runner’s workout should not only include running sessions, but it requires a broader approach. To improve your running skills, we recommend that you combine your running routine with other exercises that will be vital to your performance.
A sure-fire method to improve your performance is to add an abs workout for runners to your overall runners training routine. Often underestimated because apparently not necessary to train legs and breath, an abs workout for runners is instead an integral part of your training. Indeed, a stronger and more stable abdomen will help you in the running technique, will avoid excessive overloads in the hip flexors and will ensure a solid anchorage point for the lower and upper limbs. In this editorial, we’ll suggest you 5 exercises you must include in your abs workout for runners.
1. Mountain Climber
One of the most popular exercises among the variations of the plank, the mountain climber is perfect for your abs workout for runners, because along with the training of the abdominals, it also recalls the typical gesture of running. Resting on your hands, align your shoulders above your wrists and hold the plank position by pressing firmly with your palms to the ground, moving your shoulder blades away from each other.
Move one leg at a time bringing the knee towards the chest and return to the plank position. Start with a few slow repetitions and try to do at least 20 consecutive ones. If it’s too easy for you, increase the frequency of execution and recall the knees to the chest quickly as if you were running with your hands on the ground.
2. Bicycle crunch
For this exercise, lie on your stomach up and carry your hands behind the back of your head. Flex one leg bringing the knee towards the chest and at the same time rotate the torso until it reaches the knee with the opposite elbow. Continue the movement alternating arms and legs. Remember to always keep the lumbar area of the back on the ground and to breathe throughout the exercise, without remaining in apnoea.
With this exercise, you will train not only the rectum of the abdomen, but also the oblique muscles, thanks to the continuous rotation movement generated by the encounter of the opposite upper and lower limbs.
In addition to training your abdomen, this exercise within your abs workout for runners can also make you work on your lower body coordination. In it, you will have to synchronize the movement of the opposite leg and arm, as it happens in the race where you have to carry on the arm opposite to the leg that makes the stride.
3. Banded dead bug
Fix a low resistance elastic at a height of about ten cm from the ground. Lie on your back and grab the elastic with two hands with your head in the direction of the anchor point. Stretch your arms upwards by lifting your shoulders slightly off the ground and keep the rubber band taut while you assume the hollow body position with your legs bent at 90°.
At this point, alternating left and right, stretch out one leg and bring it closer to the ground and then return with both legs together and your knees bent.
Always start with slow movements, so try not to lose the tension of the abdomen during the whole arc of the movement and never loosen the tension of the elastic band. Increase the intensity by quickly alternating your legs without stopping in the starting position and stop the exercise when you can no longer get the correct hollow body position.
4. Reverse plank with knee up
Starting from a sitting position, place your hands on the floor at the width of your shoulders, stretch your legs while holding them together and lift your pelvis so that your body creates a single line from your shoulders to your ankles.
This position is called “reverse plank” and trains the abdomen muscles involving many other core muscles as well. Without lowering your pelvis to the ground, lift one leg at a time by bending your knee and carrying your thigh towards your abdomen. Hold the position for a few seconds and return to the reverse plank slowly.
5. Wellness Ball side bend
Rest your side on the Wellness Ball, to maintain balance fix your feet against a stable surface. For the entire execution of the exercise, imagine having a wall in front and behind. The movement is made only on the frontal plane, without flexing the torso forward or backward. Place your hands behind the nape of your neck keeping your elbows wide open, keep your head always in line with the trunk and avoid bending your neck forward by applying too much pressure with your hands.
Once you’ve reached a stable position, bend your torso laterally. Working with the oblique muscles of the abdomen lifts the torso from the Wellness Ball. To guide you in the movement, think that the elbow of the upper arm should approach the corresponding side. Although the arms do not initiate the beginning of the inclination, it is a useful ploy to activate the muscle work.
The ball will create instability that makes the exercise quite complex, involving many core muscles, useful to fix the pelvis even during the race, contributing to the coordination of legs and arms during each stride.
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