5 Minute Core Exercises for Runners

5 Minute Core Routine

  1. running v-sit
  2. austraillian crawl
  3. flutter v-sit
  4. supine plank leg lift right 
  5. font supine leg lift
  6. supine plank leg lift left
  7. superman flutter
  8. pushup to plank
  9. v sit flutter
  10. rockie push ups

These are my top 10 core moves, each done for 30 seconds. These exercises will help you become a leaner, stronger, and faster runner by working the large and small muscles in your core. No matter where you are at in your running, just beginning or have had several years under you belt, everyone can benefit from this routine! I will explain 3 levels of intensity that you can work through – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – so start where you feel most comfortable, and let the fun begin!

  1. RUNNING V-SIT

    • Beginner: Sit on your butt with your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet on the floor. Keep your core tight and back straight, then lean back to another 90-degree angle between your core and upper legs. Place your hands behind you for support, if necessary, but try to really tighten your abs to hold you for support! Hold still for 30 seconds!

    • Intermediate: Begin in the same position as beginner, but lift your feet off the ground until your legs are as straight as possible. Your legs are too high if they begin to bend. Try to keep the 90-degree angle between your core and upper legs!

    • Advanced: Hold the same position as intermediate but remove the support from your hands and pump your arms beside you like you are running. Try to hold your core and legs as still as possible! The faster you can pump your arms, the faster you will be able to move your legs when actually running!

  2. AUSTRALIAN CRAWL

    • Beginner: Roll over onto your belly. Before you lift your arms are legs, tighten your abs to lift your belly off the ground. Imagine there is a thumbtack under your belly you are trying to stay off of! Once your belly is tightened, slightly arch your back and point your toes as if you are stretching for opposite sides of the room. Your arms should be out beside you with your hands on the ground. Then flutter your legs up and down from your thighs; you should feel this in your lower back.

    • Intermediate: Begin in the same position, but lift your hands off the ground and hold them beside you in the air.

    • Advanced: Begin in the beginner position, but move your arms in a swimming motion. You abs should remain tight and back slightly arched through the whole 30 seconds!

  3. FLUTTER V-SIT

    • Beginner: Sit on your butt with your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet on the floor. Keep your core tight and back straight, then lean back to another 90-degree angle between your core and upper legs. Place your hands behind you for support if necessary, but try to really tighten your abs to hold you for support! Hold still for 30 seconds!

    • Intermediate: Begin in the same position as beginner, but lift your feet off the ground until your legs are as straight as possible and then flutter them back and forth. Try to keep your core solid at the 90-degree angle you started with. It is not about the speed of the flutters or distance between your legs but controlling your whole body during the movement. You can leave your hands on the ground behind you for a little support.

    • Advanced: Do all the movements as the intermediate, but take your hands off the ground for support and hold them in front of you, keeping your core super tight the whole time! Make sure to keep your back and knees as straight as possible!

  4. SIDE PLANK LEG LIFT (LEFT)

    • Beginner: On your left side, lift up onto your left arm, bent at the elbow. Make sure to keep your shoulder directly over your elbow for correct alignment. Your right arm can be raised straight up for balance or on your hip. Keep your core tight to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your feet. You should be resting on the side of your left foot, with your right foot right on top of it. Try to keep your hips from dropping down or lifting up.

    • Intermediate: Start in the beginner position but straighten your your left arm with your shoulder directly over your wrist. Again, focus on keeping a tight core to keep your hips from moving!

    • Advanced: Begin in the intermediate position and once you are stable, move your right leg up and down. It can go up as high as you can get it, but make sure to do these slowly! Going slow with make sure you are working all the correct muscles and give you a good burn!

  5. FRONT SUPINE LEG LIFT

    • Beginner: These are similar to a traditional plank, except with your belly upward. Sit on your bottom with legs together and straight out. Place your hands just behind your bottom with your arms straight. Lift up your core so that your body is completely flat and your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Your feet should be resting on your heels and kept together. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

    • Intermediate: Start in the beginner position and lift and lower one leg at a time, making sure to keep your legs straight. If your legs are bending, you are going too high. You will get more from each one if you do them slowly rather than speeding through!  

    • Advanced: Instead of resting on your hands like in the beginner and intermediate stage, place your elbows just behind your bottom. Make sure to keep your shoulders directly above your wrist. Once you are stable in this position, lift and lower your legs, while keeping your hips up and body flat.

  6. SIDE PLANK LEG LIFT (RIGHT)

    • Beginner: Same as left-side plank

    • Intermediate: Same as left-side plank

    • Advanced: Same as left side-plank

  7. SUPERMAN FLUTTER

    • Beginner: Lay on your belly with both arms out to your side creating 90-degree angles. Your legs should be straight behind you with a little space in-between. With your core tightened (think upward not pushing your belly out), lift your legs and arms simultaneously, creating an arch with your back and hold for 2 seconds then lower. Lift for 2 seconds and lower enough to tap your hands and feet to the ground and then repeat for 30 seconds. Keep your head aligned with your spine moving it with your body, as opposed to dropping your head or lifting it up to the ceiling.

    • Intermediate: Begin the same position, but add 2 scissor kicks with your legs during the 2-second hold. A scissor kick is bringing your legs out wide then back in and crossing them. Do 1 scissor with your left leg on top, and another with your right on top. Then lower and repeat.

    • Advanced: Begin in the same position as beginner, and add 2 scissor moves to each raise with BOTH YOUR ARMS AND LEGS!

  8. PUSHUP TO SIDE PLANK

    • Beginner: Begin in the standard plank position. Make sure to keep your core tight in order to hold your body flat and your shoulders directly above your wrists. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

    • Intermediate: Begin in the standard plank position and do as many quality pushups as you can in 30 seconds.

    • Advanced: Begin in a pushup position; your feet should be slightly spaced, body flat, core tight, and arms straight. Do one pushup, without your hips raising or dropping. After you push up, rotate your torso and your feet to the right, raising your left arm straight up in the air. Hold for 1 second or until you are stable. Then rotate back to the pushup position; do a pushup and then lift up to a side plank on the left side. Repeat for 30 seconds. Think about quality of the pushup and side plank versus quantity.

  9. V-SIT SCISSOR

    • Beginner: Sit on your butt with your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet on the floor. Keep your core tight and back straight, and then lean back to another 90-degree angle between your core and upper legs. Clasp your hands in front of you and hold still for 30 seconds!

    • Intermediate: Begin in the same position as beginner, but lift your feet off the ground until your legs are as straight as possible. Your legs are too high if they begin to bend. Try to keep the 90-degree angle between your core and upper legs!

    • Advanced: Begin in the same position as intermediate and do scissor kicks with your legs instead of holding them still. To do the scissor kick, bring your feet out wide, and then cross them over each other as you bring them in. Make sure to switch back and forth between your left and right foot on top. Again, it is about quality of the movement, not quantity, so do not speed through them!

  10. ROCKIE PUSHUPS

    • Beginner: Begin in a pushup position on your knees. Go down as low as you can and when you push up, use enough force to clap your hands and catch yourself before dropping down into another pushup. Do 3 sets of 3 pushups, with just a shake of the arms in between each set. These are hard!

    • Intermediate: This time begin in full pushup position with your legs extended out straight. Go down as low as you can and when you push up use enough force to just lift your hands off the ground. It is like doing a little jump from your hands. Again 3 sets of 3 “jumps."

    • Advanced: Begin in the full pushup position and explode up with enough force to get a clap between each pushup. Do not rest between each repetition, but you may do a quick shake out between each set! Still 3 sets of 3 pushups!

 

This is a great routine to do up to 3 times a week. I love adding this to my low-carb days after I do sprints and an easy run! Since I have been doing this consistently for weeks, I have seen results, and you will too. You will feel stronger and leaner if you are persistent!