Whether running for fitness, lifestyle or weight loss, traditionally runners have focused on building a stronger heart and stronger legs and often don’t think about the area in between. But increasing numbers of athletes across all sports are starting to understand that a strong core is the foundation of all movement…

A strong core helps you generate more force and speed as you push off the ground.  When you land again, strong core muscles help to keep you rock-solid. A stable core prevents extra movement in your torso and keeps you from using excess energy as your arms and legs move.  This makes you a more economical runner.  A strong core also helps with posture while running. At the tail end of your run, a solid core can help you maintain correct form and run efficiently – even through fatigue – because strong lower abs and lower-back muscles aids better posture, and less fatigue leads to increased co-ordination.

Strength in your side stomach oblique’s helps when you have to suddenly move to the side – whether it’s turning the corner on a track, navigating terrain or dodging a pothole.

If you don’t invest time in strengthening your core you can experience a variety of different problems ranging from discomfort to major injuries. You see, as your legs pound the ground your spine absorbs much of the force. That shock worsens if your core is weak, which can produce lower-back pain. Also, when your core isn’t stable, your hamstrings have to work harder – which if overloaded, can leave them shorter, tighter, and more vulnerable to injury. Without a strong core, it is difficult to control the movement of your torso.

You risk putting excess force on your joints each time your foot lands, which can lead to pain under the knee and a whole lot of expensive health problems later in life. Further strain can be put on your joints when your technique deteriorates near the end of your run. If your core is weak, you can end up shuffling and slouching, putting too much stress on your hips, knees, and shins. No matter what level you are running at, a strong core is the foundation for all your movement. There are lots of exercise options to consider for your core.   Invest the time in your core and you will enjoy your running a lot more – plus you’ll look great too!

Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands  Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer  082 513 4256

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