Core Work for Runners (Or Really Anyone)

I believe the best way to learn to move effectively and efficiently is through Pilates training. My favorite Pilates method is Stott Pilates. It is the style I did with my mom in our basement when I was young. It has helped me have a resilient and balanced body throughout all the different sports and activities I have done. Here is a great introductory DVD:–Basic-Pilates-Vol-1

Merrithew also has a good introductory routine online. I know it is demonstrating with kids in some of the videos, but go with it. Learning to skillfully do these movements is so important for overall health in training and life. Give these exercises your full attention and don’t do any move you can’t do correctly. You want to make sure you are teaching your body healthy movement patterns:

This “Myrtl” Routine is great for runners to keep their hips and core strong. I like to do this as a warmup before runs (it is still core work).

I do this lunge matrix from Coach Jay Johnson for my warmup (instead of Myrtl), if I am outside (this is also core work, although it might not seem like it).

Below is a video of the Pilates core work I normally do after running. When you understand the basic movements of Pilates, you can play around with which exercises you do on a daily basis. These are the exercises that I normally like to keep in my routine.

I also like to do a front plank and side planks after I finish the Pilates exercises in the above video. Ideally, my everyday core workout will look like this:

  1. Warmup with Myrtl exercises or lunge matrix.
  2. Run.
  3. Pilates and plank exercises.
  4. Hip-opening yoga.

The run can be replaced with your preferred method of cardio, of course. Even if it is just an extended walk. And if this feels like too much at first, start with adding in just one thing. Maybe before you go to bed, you do some relaxing yoga poses. Starting small is the best way to introduce your body to new habits. And, be gentle with yourself! If you forget to do these things, even if it is for months at a time, just return to the practice. Everyone needs to find a routine that works with the lifestyle they have and want to create. The happiest people have figured out how to optimize whatever circumstance they are in. Like my favorite trainer, Billy Blanks, says, “Where I am today is where my mind puts me, and where I will be tomorrow is where my mind puts me.”

Hopefully this helps you guys! As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions. I am working on creating more beginner running and training posts for you!

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