It’s easy to find a basic 10-minute ab workout with classic moves like crunches, sit-ups, and leg lifts. While there’s nothing wrong with these exercises, we need a routine that targets the whole core, not just what you see in the mirror. A strong core provides stability and supports healthy posture and form, allowing you to run faster and more efficiently.
That’s why Alison Staples, coach at Formula Running Center in Arlington, Virginia, developed this unique 10-minute abs workout just for runners. It includes a 360-degree approach to core training with just four functional exercises. Expect to feel this circuit throughout your entire midsection, especially the obliques—that’s intentional. 'Running is not just a forward and back movement,' Staples says. 'Runners will find targeting these side muscles will improve strength and stability associated with the side movement in running.;
How to Use This Workout: Complete 2 sets of the following exercises in order. Perform each exercise for 60 seconds (or 30 seconds per side), resting 15 seconds between exercises.
Each move is demonstrated by Staples, a certified trainer, in the video above so you can master the proper form. You will need a medium dumbbell or kettlebell. An exercise mat is optional.
Standing Dead Bug
Stand with your feet together and extend arms overhead, palms facing in. As you bend your left knee to lift leg to hip height, lower right arm and place hand on raised knee. Press down on the knee for 3 seconds, using your core strength to resist the force of your hand. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side, right leg and left arm. Continue to alternate, focusing on form over speed.
Start in a half-kneeling position with knees bent at 90-degree angles, left foot in front. Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chin, engage your core, then circle the weight around your head to the left (as if forming a “halo” overhead) and return to starting position. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch directions for the remaining 30 seconds. On the second set, start with right foot in front.
Modified Side Plank With Oblique Crunch
Start on your side with right forearm on the ground, forming a straight line from head to feet. Keeping right knee planted, bend it 90 degrees so that your foot is behind you. Lift hips off the ground and extend left arm overhead. This is the starting position. With a straight knee and pointed toes, lift left leg 45 degrees as you draw your left elbow toward left hip with a side crunch. Return to starting position. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides for the remaining 30 seconds.
Glute Bridge Walkout
Lie faceup, knees bent, and feet planted on the floor. Drive through heels, contracting the glutes to send hips up toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to knees. Staying on heels, step right foot forward, then left. Keeping glutes lifted, continue to take small steps forward until legs are nearly straight. Then, slowly walk heels back to a bridge position and lower hips to the ground. That’s one rep. Repeat.
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