3 Things Every Runner Should Do

Planks build core strength, which is essential for improving and maintaining running form. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Core And Flexibility

Running form and a strong core are interdependent. The ability to maintain proper form as you tire is a direct result of a strong core. Running more efficiently makes you run faster. The same goes for increased flexibility; the looser, more supple your muscles are, the greater range of motion you’ll have, allowing your legs to open up into that full and powerful stride instead of being limited because of tightness. Finally, core strength and increased flexibility will make you more resistant to injury.

Planks
Four positions, hold each for 30 seconds. Start in standard plank: balancing on your forearms and toes, abs engaged, torso and legs parallel with the ground. Reverse plank: balancing on forearms and heels, facing the ceiling. Side planks: hips stacked, balancing on left forearm and outer left foot. Switch to right side.

Back Bridge
Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor roughly 18-inches from your glutes. Lift butt off the ground until hips and thighs are parallel, then lower. Set of 15, then lift right foot off the ground, balancing on your left and do 10 single-lifts. Repeat with 10 lifts on right foot.

Alternate Toe-Touches
Lay on your back, bend at the hips, and lift your legs straight up into an L-shape; spread your feet apart into the shape of a V. Reach with arms and torso to your left foot, down, up and reach to right foot. Do 20 lifts, alternating sides.

Leg Swings
Do each 10 times. Lateral: Swing left leg front-to-back, repeat with right leg. Horizontal: Face a wall, swinging left leg side-to-side, repeat right leg.

Donkey Kicks
Get on your hands and knees and into a table position. Keep the right leg bent at the knee and lift your right foot into the air, kicking until that thigh is parallel with the floor. Lower and repeat, 10 reps for each side.

RELATED: 5 Common Running Form Mistakes

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