I think we all know that a strong core is important for trail running. But do we know how to develop our core the right way? There are a lot of different ways to work on your core muscles, but the simplest is crunches. If you like doing crunches, learn how to do them the right way. Sam and Alison Naney from Methow Endurance have a core training tip that will give you more bang for the buck.
By doing your crunches correctly, you don’t have to do hundreds to get results.
Core training tips for Trail Runners
As winter really picks up steam and gets her frosty legs under her, all your various little inefficiencies are probably starting to rear their fatigued, glycogen-deprived heads and cry out for assistance. Though most of my winter is spent on the racing circuit I do get the opportunity to teach a few private lessons and there are some very common issues I see which can be categorized under the general heading: core strength.
Let’s start this discussion with a disclaimer: core strength is NOT six-pack abs. Not necessarily, at least. While the fit skier or runner will likely have a nice washboard stomach, it comes as much from leanness and body fat composition as it does sheer strength. Core strength encompasses far more than the rectus abdominus (the six-pack muscle): there are also the external and internal oblique muscles and the transverse abdominus. These muscles comprise the deeper layers to the rectus; they are also the ones that help stabilize and support your structure during both dynamic movement and when still. Additionally, we add (perhaps controversially) the lesser gluteal muscles into the mix – the minimus and medius, both on the lateral side of your hip. These muscles are also heavily involved in stability, especially for the pelvis.[Read more...]
Just goes to show, if you take your time to do exercises right, you don’t have to do as many reps and you can target the right muscles. Now is a good time to start a new habit, a few crunches every day right after waking up!