Last Updated on:
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. If you want to know more check here.

As a runner, you may feel core exercises are not really required.

If you think so, then my friend, you are terribly wrong.

You may not want to flaunt your abs as a runner, but you surely need the correct form to keep you going.

Your core comprises of  –  abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, obliques, and glutes.

Core exercises help runners in many ways

  • Stronger abs help you run faster.
  • Strengthening the obliques gives you better running form
  • It improves your stability and reduces the chance of injury
  • Strengthening the lower back reduces the chances of back pain.

If you are a beginner, the core exercises may be a little difficult initially but with practice, you will definitely master them.

So, here in this post, I am sharing some of the common core exercises.

Related:

13 Best Hamstring And Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners

20-minute Bodyweight Workout For Runners

Best Beginner Core Exercises for runners

21 Best Beginner Core Exercises for Runners

1. Crunches

Benefits

Abs strengthening

Steps

  • Lie on the mat on your back.
  • Your hands should be stretched above the shoulders
  • Inhale and lift your body and try to touch your toes.
  • Exhale and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 sets of 10-15 counts each.
  • If you are able to do this easily, you can try the other advance crunches too.

2. Toe Reach

Benefits:

Strengthen lower abs and back flexibility

Steps

  • Lie on the mat on your back.
  • Raise your legs such that it is at 90 degrees to your upper body.
  • Inhale and lift your body and try to touch your toes.
  • Exhale and come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat is for 10-15 times, 2 sets.
  • To make it more challenging, hold a 1 lb or 2 lb dumbbell in your hand.
  • If you are finding it difficult to touch your toes, try touching your shin bone or ankles.

 

3. Leg Raise

Benefits:

Works on the abs and thighs

Steps

  • Lie on a mat  on your back.
  • Your hands should be by the side.
  • Raise your legs to 90 degrees and bring it down slowly such that it does not touch the floor.
  • Keep your legs straight and knee should not be bent.
  • Repeat it for 10-15 times, 2 sets.
  • Other variations could be raising the leg to 60 degrees or 45 degrees.

4. Leg Rotation

Benefits:

Abs strengthening

Steps

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Keep your hands by your side.
  • Keep your legs together and lift it up 90 degrees to your body.
  • Rotate your legs anticlockwise to take one complete round.
  • Breathe normally while you rotate your legs.
  • Repeat 10 rounds anticlockwise and 10 clockwise.

5. Scissors

Benefits:

Abs strengthening

Steps

  • Lie down on the mat on your back and hands by your side.
  • Lift your right leg at 60 degrees and the left leg should be little above the ground.
  • Bring your right leg down little above ground and lift your left leg to 60 degrees.
  • Make sure you do not bend your knee.
  • Breathe normally.
  • Repeat this for 10-15 counts on each leg, 2 sets.

 

6. Ankle Touch

Benefits:

Works on the abs and oblique muscles

Steps

  • Lie on the mat on your back.
  • Fold your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Engage your core and lift up your shoulder plates and hands by your sides.
  • Bend your upper body to left side from your waist and try to touch your left ankle with your left hand.
  • Come to the starting position.
  • Bend your upper body to the right side from your waist and try to touch your right ankle with your right hand.
  • Repeat by touching the ankles 10 times each side, 2 sets.

7. Bicycle Crunches

Benefits:

Works on the abs and oblique muscles

Steps

  • Lie flat on the mat on your back.
  • Put your hands under your head, your feet should be at the tabletop position and your shoulder blades off the ground.
  • Pull your right towards your chest and stretch your left leg at around 45 degrees.
  • Twist your upper body to the right side.
  • Make sure to turn from your body from the ribcage and not just head.
  • Repeat the above steps by turning the opposite side.
  • Repeat 10 repetitions on each side and do 2 sets.

8. Bridge & Single Leg Bridge

Benefits:

Works on the abs, lower back, and glutes.

Steps

  • Lie down on the mat on your back and hands by your sides.
  • Keep your feet hip-distance apart and fold your knees, such that it’s off the ground.
  • Raise your hips such that your body from the shoulder to the knee is a straight line.
  • Your feet should be planted on the ground.
  • Hold in this position for 30 sec.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.
  • If you are able to this, raise one leg at 45 degrees, hold in this position.
  • Repeat this with the other leg.

9. Superman

Benefits:

Works on the abs and lower back

Steps

  • Lie on the mat with your face facing the ground.
  • Your hand should be outstretched in front of you.
  • Lift your hands and upper body and legs a few inches from the ground.
  • Hold in this position for 30 sec and return back to the starting position.
  • Repeat it for 3-5 times.

10. Woodchopper

Benefits:

This is a multi-muscle workout. It works on shoulders, abs, obliques, glutes, upper back, lower back, quads, hamstring, and abductors.

Steps

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Hold 2 lb or 4 lb dumbbell or a medicine ball with your hands.
  • Keep your core engaged straight back and bend your knee little.
  • Bend and lower the dumbbell near the right leg calf muscle.
  • Move your hands across your body and outstretch your hands above your left shoulder.
  • Repeat is 10 times each side, 2 sets.
  • You can adjust the dumbbells according to your capability.

11. Russian Twist

Benefits:

Works on the abs and oblique muscles

Steps

  • Sit on the mat with your knee bent and feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Your upper body should be bent such that it makes a “V” with your thighs.
  • Hold a 2lb or 4 lb dumbbells in your hand.
  • Breathe in and twist your torso to the right side of your body and fist near your waist.
  • Breathe out and come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat it by turning your torso to the left side.
  • Repeat it for 10 counts each side, 2 sets
  • If it is difficult to do with dumbbells, just ditch it or adjust the weights.

12. Plank

Benefits:

This is one of the best core exercises and works on your abs, lower back, and glutes.

Steps

  •  Lie on the mat facing the ground.
  • Your upper arm should be perpendicular to the ground with your elbow right below your shoulders.
  • Your wrist should be in line with your elbow.
  • Engage your core, squeeze your butt and front thigh and lift your body.
  • Your body should maintain a straight line from head to heel and the back should not be bumped.
  • Breathe normally and hold this position for 30 sec.
  • Repeat it 2-3 times.
  • You can adjust the time as required.

13. Side Plank

Benefits:

Works on the abs, lower back, and oblique muscles

Steps

  • Lie on the mat on your left sides.
  • Keep tour legs together, your left elbow should be under your left shoulder and right hand on your waist.
  • Engage your core and lift your body such that your body is in a straight line from head to heel.
  • Hold in this position for 15 sec or more.
  • Repeat the steps lying on your right side.
</