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John's Running Tips

Belly Full of Training

Achieving your personal running goals may revolve around improving your core strength. So, stop ignoring your weak pelvis and turn your attention to some core abdominal and pelvic strength.

Runners get plenty of leg development through running. Many runners incorporate hill training, intervals for leg strength and some resistance weight training for the upper body. The muscles in your pelvis are continually stressed by running. Yet, many runners totally ignore the abdominal and psoas muscles.

The pelvis is the platform of your body. During running it absorbs shock and transfers the weight of your torso and upper body to the legs. The stronger the platform the better it absorbs the shock of each foot strike. Our body absorbs three to four times it our weight on each foot strike, so maintaining strong pelvic muscles will reduce the risk of injuries.

The abdominal muscles provide stability to the body and the psoas creates the impulse of energy that initiates leg movement. Abdominal muscles, the washboard muscles in our stomach area are easy to identify and see. The psoas you cannot see. This long muscle works through the pelvis and inserts on the inside of the top of your thighbone and is the primary initiator of your running movement. To prevent muscle imbalances and all sorts of injuries, both the abdominal and psoas muscles need to be strengthened.

Relax and enjoy this circuit routine. Start by laying flat on your back with your knees up and together. Your feet should be flat on the floor about a foot from your butt.

The Crunch

Place a towel between your knees and squeeze contracting the inner thigh muscles. Curl your upper back to your thigh muscles while doing a pelvic tilt, keep your lower back tight to the floor. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Return to the starting position, take a breath and relax then repeat a total of 10 times to a count of 5- 10. This crunch will work the abdominal, the psoas and the adductors muscles of the inner thigh.

The Hipster

Sit upright perpendicular to the floor. Use your arms for support lean back and place your hands palms down on the floor shoulder width apart. Keep your knees together, extend your legs straight out and bring your knees back towards your chest. . The heels are kept 6 inches off the ground throughout the routine. Repeat 20 times with a smooth and steady action. This builds strength in the psoas, hip flexors and lower abdominal.

The Crossed Leg Crunch

Rest your right ankle on your left knee. Now curl your left shoulder up towards the inside of your tight knee. Hold the crunch for 5 – 10 seconds repeating 10 times. Now cross your legs the other way and repeat on the opposite side for 10 repetitions. This routine will strenghthen your oblique stomach muscles and helps prevent upper body rotation while running.

Knee slider

Place the palms of your hands on your thighs. Slowly slide your hands towards your knees and lift your upper back. Contract your abdominal and keep your lower back tight on the floor. Curl hold for a count of 5 – 10 and repeat 10 times. This strengthens your upper abdominal.

Do this circuit training three times per week and watch your running times improve!

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