Improve Your Running: The 8 Essential Core Exercises For Runners

Strength training is getting more and more important in the running community as its importance is continuously highlighted. Runners benefit from many forms of exercise including core work. Whether it’s a marathon or a 5k you’re training for, you won’t regret adding core work to your workouts.

4 min read
Sean's profile
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
11/03/22
Last updated
23/06/22
In This Resource
  • How Do I Strengthen My Core For Running?
  • 1. Pre Or Post Running Core Work
  • 2. A Full Body Resistance Training Programme
  • 5 Minute Core Workout For Runners
  • Beginner Core Workout For Runnners
  • More Exercises For Runners
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • How Much Core Work Should A Runner Do?
  • Are Cores Good For Runners?
  • Is Core Training Required To Run A Marathon?
  • Will Core Training Help My Lower Back?

So you’ve got your running training on point, your fitness and form are feeling good, but still need to nail down a good core training routine? Well we have the 8 best core exercises runners can add into their training regime so they can both improve performance and mitigate injury.

How Do I Strengthen My Core For Running?

The key to strengthening your core as a runner is to add core exercises consistently into your training regime. The two best ways for runners to integrate core work into their training are:

1. Pre Or Post Running Core Work

For runners who aren’t ready to add a full weight training regime into their routine but still see the value of core work for their performance and training, doing it before or after your run can be an easy way to add it into your week. Check out the Pre-Post Run workout example we provide below.

2. A Full Body Resistance Training Programme

This can be a great way to add core work into your training while simultaneously getting the performance and health benefits from other forms of strength training.

5 Minute Core Workout For Runners

Complete 3 rounds

1. Hollow Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

2. Cross Chop

Complete 6 repetitions

3. A-Stance Pass Through

Complete 3 repetitions

Beginner Core Workout For Runnners

Complete 3 rounds

1. Deadbugs with Pause

Complete 12 repetitions

2. Half Kneeling Banded Diagonal Chop

Complete 6 repetitions

3. Side Plank Kneeling Leg Raise

Complete 6 repetitions

More Exercises For Runners

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Core Work Should A Runner Do?

Try adding core training into your programme 1-2 times a week consistently to see active results. All exercises are provided with proposed sets and reps that you can use. Obviously, if the run your about to perform is very challenging, try avoiding doing your core work on this day.

Are Cores Good For Runners?

Yes, having a strong robust core is great for runners. Your core musculature is what ties the body together and includes some crucial balancing muscles in the hip joints that will certainly help runners be more resilient and more able to withstand injury. That being said, there can be a large diminishing returns for runners who are doing a lot of core training, having good basic balancing ability is great, but adding too much core training volume really isn’t required for runners to be successful.

Is Core Training Required To Run A Marathon?

No. You can happily run a marathon or other race without doing any weight lifting what so ever, no core muscles or abdominal training required, but for health and longevity it might want to be something you consider.

Will Core Training Help My Lower Back?

Core training and strength training in general has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent lower back pain. However, before you use any intervention other than good sleep and walking, consult with your physiotherapist for advice.

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