Uncommon Core Workouts For Runners: Headstands

This unconventional maneuver reinforces the tenets of good posture and core strength. 

We know what you’re probably thinking; why on earth would a runner need to stand on his or her head?!

Surprisingly, there are many ways that a well-executed headstand can improve the key components of your running form. Tall posture, correct shoulder positioning, core strength and balance are all vital aspects of running that the headstand puts to the test.

1. Start with the basic balanced tripod position. To achieve this, begin with a single pushup to gauge where your head will be placed on the pad in relation to your hands. A mat, pillow or soft grassy surface are all fair game.

2. With your hands on the ground, start moving your hips higher, bringing your feet in closer.

3. Bring your knees to your elbows, starting with one at a time.

4. From this position, start to lift one foot off the ground and then the other.

5. Finally, pull your knees off your elbows and extend them as far as you feel comfortable.

Start by holding the headstand for 10-20 seconds and work up to a minute once you get a feel for it.

RELATED WORKOUT: The Farmer’s Carry

Tips

— Make sure to press into the ground with your hands and don’t put all the pressure on your head!
— When you start to extend your legs, keep them hinged at the hips with your belly and butt tight for improved stability.

Can you feel that rush of blood to your head? Improve your sense of balance, tighten your core, refine your stability and achieve proper shoulder positioning, all with one move! This translates to taller, stronger and faster running. It’s time to look at the world of running in a new way—upside down.

Thank you to Carl Paoli and GymnasticsWod.com for these headstand progressions.

This is the third installment in The Run Experience series: Uncommon Core Workouts For Runners. Look for more in the following weeks!

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About The Author:

Nate Helming coaches strength and mobility for national and international-level road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes and ultrarunners at San Francisco CrossFit, as well as elite-level amateur runners and triathletes outside the gym. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter and check out more of his videos on the Helming Athletics YouTube channel

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