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3 core exercises for Runners

A common misconception around ‘core’ exercises is that they are designed to provide photogenic abs, make you look good in swimwear or give you that celebrity ‘6-pack’. You need to think deeper than that to really develop a strong trunk. The muscles from your low back to the front of your abdomen are all classified as core muscles, which consist of multiple layers. They activate to hold you upright against the weight of gravity, keep you stable when lifting things off the floor or in the sporting context, they allow you to transmit force efficiently through your body to enhance your power and speed.

Abdominal crunches are useful for helping you get out of bed or if you compete in an impact sport e.g. a boxer getting punched in the stomach will contract their abs to protect themselves. As runners, we want to train the underlying muscles so they continually work on an involuntary basis while we run.

There are hundreds of exercises to choose from with various levels of progressions and modifications but we will share with you 3 exercises that you can start today.

Dead Bug:

Simple but effective. Lie on your back with your arms straight and pointing towards the roof. Bend your knees to 90º and lift your feet off the ground so that you calves are parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back in contact with the floor throughout the exercise. Tap your heel off the floor and return to your starting position. To progress, bring one arm back over your head while taping the floor with your opposite heel.

Picture of Dead Bug Exercise

Front Plank:

Lie on your front, position of elbows under your shoulders and lift your hips up off the floor. Only your knees and elbows/forearms should be in contact with the floor. Engage your lower abdominals and hold your back in a neutral position. You can progress this exercise by having your toes and elbows/forearms in contact with the floor only.

Picture of half plank exercise

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Side Plank:

Lie on your side with your knee bent to 90º. Lean on your elbow and lift your hips off the floor. Try and keep a straight line between your shoulders and hips. To progress this, try and balance on the side of your foot and hand with your elbow straight.

Picture of half plank exercise

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Very knowledgeable physio Team! Was in London on a business meeting and ended up visiting James for some urgent treatment on my lower back. Delighted with the service. James put me at ease straight away. His treatment was paramount in getting me through what was a hectic weekend. Could not recommend enough. Will definitely be back when in London again!
Funky Inflatable Co.
Funky Inflatable Co.
17:29 11 Sep 18
Went to "Flawless Physio" two weeks ago for back pain that I'd been carrying for months. Three sessions later, it's all gone! The staff was very pleasant, professional and gave me a series of simple exercises to do at home. I definitely recommend them. I'll be back, hopefully not too soon ;)
Charles Muzard
Charles Muzard
13:04 24 Sep 18
I was recommended to see James by my consultant following surgery to my ankle. He was extremely professional and knowledgable. He motivated me throughout the process and I have now returned to long distance running thanks to his help. I would recommend his services to anyone
David Burns
David Burns
19:32 08 Sep 18
Awesome team. I ended up having to seek out treatment when my back went into spasm (on going problem) whilst down visiting friends. I saw James and he was very professional and through with his treatment. More importantly he gave me a better understanding about what was going on and how to manage my injury in the future. Highly recommended!
James Tatham
James Tatham
08:03 20 Sep 18
I received treatment from Vicky for a very stiff and painful neck, possibly brought on by tension. I felt confident that my therapist was knowledgeable. The service was very friendly and professional and I felt good progress from the first session already. Vicky recommended some exercises and explained how to do them with very clear diagrams and instructions. I would highly recommend Vicky
Tiziana Guffanti
Tiziana Guffanti
17:23 29 Aug 18
I would highly recommend Flawless Physio. Excellent knowledge/treatment and also brilliant customer care - following up and giving advice. Tailored rehab to suit the type and level of sport as well as lifestyle. My wife & I have been treated by both James & Victoria and they have both been great. Will continue to use for any future injury & rehab.
Joe Gomes
Joe Gomes
19:11 30 Mar 19
I saw Victoria for my dodgy shoulder, and she was brilliant. Very professional And knowledgeable, she really took time to explain what was going on and to treat it. She followed up with me to check I was getting on well with the exercises. She is also really accommodating with timings for appointments. I couldn't recommend more highly, thank you Victoria!
Fiona Hall
Fiona Hall
08:35 27 Mar 19
First class. Had 4 or 5 appointments with Victoria that were always late in the evening, although you wouldn't know it. She took her time, whether that be on soft tissue work, explaining how to do an exercise, or the purpose behind it. A genuine person that wants to help and she clearly knows her stuff.
Jamie Moles
Jamie Moles
21:14 20 Jan 19
Went to flawless physio and vic was great! Training for a marathon and she was very understanding and helpful. Living in the Twickenham area so was in great location! Her specialist knowledge in knee injuries was able to get me back running in two weeks 🏃🏼‍♀️
Ruth Herlihy
Ruth Herlihy
23:44 25 Jan 19
I injured my leg (ITB) training for the Berlin Marathon and then made it far worse it by trying to run it. Victoria has been essential in my recovery, helping me understand how to strengthen the right muscle groups and get back to running. I have been very impressed by the depth of knowledge and insight. This weekend I will run the Cancer Research 10km. Thank you!
Paul Carpenter
Paul Carpenter
17:02 28 Jan 19
Really impressed with the service provided at Flawless Physio. Vicky was knowledgeable, professional and her invaluable treatment and advice got me to the start of this year’s marathon when I’d had to stop running with 8weeks to go. Without the advice and care I received at Flawless Physio, at best I’d have limped my way round the course and at worst, not been able to take part at all. Definitely recommend!
Katy Gomes
Katy Gomes
11:03 30 May 19
James helped resolve a hamstring injury that had troubled me for the best part of a year. I'll certainly use Flawless Physio for any future issues. Highly recommended.
Sandeep C
Sandeep C
18:02 30 Apr 19