Quick Core Workout

Happy Monday!

Today I thought I'd give you a core/abs workout that is super effective for runners.

It is great for core strength and stability which is a must if you want to have a long career with as little injuries as possible!

1. 60-90 sec plank: Hold your body in a straight "plank" like position on your elbows and toes - try not to arch your back and strain your neck, and remember to take deep breathes! If you want to advance this, you can raise the opposite arm and leg slightly (but as long as you maintain a strong position through your hips/back)

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2. 20-30 x Exercise Ball Pikes: See below Picture. Hold your upper body strong with your hands and roll the Fit Ball back and forward on your toes by raising your hips towards the roof and bringing them back down to a plank position.

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3. 20 Leg Lowers (free weight or with a dumbbell) Flatten your back against the ground and lower your legs and arms down the ground as far as you can without arching your back. You can do this single leg/bent knees to begin with and work your way to double/straight legs with added weight in your hands. Image

4. 30-60sec Side Plank (with hip adduction) With one elbow, hold your torso in a straight line and lift your hip off the ground and as high as you can go. Maintain strong core without bending at the hips. If you want to advance this and add in a bit of work for your glutes - keeping your legs as straight as possible, raise your top leg to 45 degrees and lower back down.

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5. 50 Medicine Ball Russian Twists Holding your legs up in the air in front of you and keeping strong through your core, rotate your torso with the medicine ball at chest height. Don't let the ball touch the ground just hover it above and then change sides. If you want to advance this one, try with straight legs in front of you (as long as it doesn't strain your back!) Image

Repeat this whole circuit 2-3 times, a couple of times a week and you'll feel a big difference in no time! Make sure you are doing it with the proper technique before you advance and remember to keep breathing throughout each exercise - makes it harder for your abs and keeps you alive ;)

Let me know how you find it! And until next time...

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And start doing today!!

A. xx

To stretch or not to stretch?

Hi guys! So the last couple of weeks I've had quite a few people ask whether they should be stretching before or after workouts, or not at all! There is so much talk of what not to do pre-run these days and confusion about what is best for a running warm up. So I thought I'd just write a quick blog on what I personally do, and give you a few threads of thought so you can make your own minds up!

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A typical running warm up for me looks a little something like this...

Get Blood Pumping and Elevate Core Temp. I do this by jogging for 5-10 minutes, (can also ride a stationary bike/cross-trainer etc if you're in a gym)

Getting Out Stiffness. Not a very technical term I know - but I do this by going through a few dynamic stretches...particularly in my key stiff sites which are hips/hamstrings/back! I don't usually hold stretches very long, and like to keep the muscles moving while stretching.

Getting Technique Right! This is a few technical drills that help me hold my technique right during my training session. Things like high knee walks, glute activations, and some quick/snappy drills keep my muscles warm and help train my technique. Open the Lungs. The last couple of things are to open my lungs and really get my legs moving. I do 2-3 run throughs of 80-100m at about 80-90%, then I complete one lap of the track of 50m fast, 50m jog etc.

This is my training and race warm up, I find it prepares me mentally and physically for tough sessions well. By the time I've completed the whole process there is no stiffness or soreness in my legs and I am ready to go!

Last important thing to note is to do what you feel works for you!! Everybody is different and every body is different - so just because something works for me doesn't mean that it is going to work for you too!

Happy training!

A. xx