Getting to the Core of Core Strength
Here at The Running Physio we look at the whole picture when treating patients. This includes discussing the injury that brought you in to see us in the first place, assessing the movement of your entire body- your movement preferences, and discussing various other external factors - things like your shoes and how much time you spend on your feet.
Often our assessments bring us back to the core, that group of stabilizing muscles that keep everything functioning properly. Having a strong core improves your running posture, speed and even efficiency. The more stabilized your hips and pelvis the more smoothly everything moves which means less wasted energy. Having a strong core also reduces your chance of injury by keeping everything exactly where it should be and by keeping your form nice and proud.
There are many simple bodyweight movements that can help improve your core strength and running efficiency, here is one of our favourites.
- Prop yourself up on your elbows and your feet - forearms on the ground and feet hip width apart.
- Ensure your shoulders are aligned directly above the elbows.
- Engage your body, abs and glutes should be tight and turned on.
- Keep your body aligned - think of your body like a plank of wood, keep it straight.
- If you notice your hips or lower back start to drop, stop re-align and make sure everything's engaged and tight. The hips and back dipping tends to happen when we stop engaging.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds and repeat 4-5 times.
There are many plank variations you can incorporate to keep things challenging. You can try holding the position longer, or incorporate side planks or mountain climbers into the movement. The key to a proper plank is maintaining that proper tight form!
A strong core is an important part of the injury treatment and prevention puzzle - but there are many other equally as important pieces. To learn more about how your core may be affecting your running click here and come chat with us. There are few things we love more than properly functioning running mechanics!
Happy Planking :)