Lots of things — such as poor running mechanics, muscle imbalances as well as niggling injuries —can appear owing to a weak core. That’s because a powerful base is one of the most fundamental parts of a solid “kinetic chain”. This chain is the interconnection of muscles as well as joints from your lower legs right up through your core and up to your shoulders. When one part of that chain is faulty or weak while you’re running, the rest will crumble.
However, if you focus on keeping that foundation in your core strong, you’re setting yourself up for great benefits in your running, such as staying upright when fatigue sets in (or form falters) and staying injury-free over the long haul.
Poor posture = poor running form
Much of the population has the tendency to slump our heads forward as well as round our shoulders. When we stand — and run—we have even more challenges:
- People who run often have strong quadriceps as well as weaker hamstrings and glutes. This imbalance can have the result of pulling the pelvis forward which creates a “butt-out” look.
If your posture is incorrect, your running style suffers. Healthy posture, whether you’re standing or running a marathon, maximises the power in large muscle groups such as the gluteals and obliques. As a consequence, this allows your organs to function better. This includes your lungs as being more upright opens your diaphragm and facilitates breathing.
One reason why people have a bad posture is that they have a lack of core strength. Just targeting just your abs — or even only your abs, hips, and glutes — isn’t sufficient. All the muscles in your trunk make up your core. By addressing the muscles in your lower body — such as weak hamstrings as well as tight hip flexors, for instance — and upper-body muscles, like a tight chest and weak midback, it is possible for you to train to have better posture.
Glute Exercises for Runners
The glute muscles produce the force that makes it possible for you to run. If they are not working correctly, other muscles help out. However, those muscles which are compensating can become overloaded, exhausted and, at the end of the day, injured.
Before you start running:
- Lift one of your legs out to the side.
- ‘Draw’ circles, which are football sized, with that leg. Make sure that you feel your glutes work.
- Perform 10 circles in either direction with each of your legs.
When you finish running:
To release the tension in your glutes, cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Sit your hips back and down until you feel a release occurring. Hold this for 10 seconds and after this switch sides. When you sink into this glute stretch you are promoting balance, but hold on to something if you’re feeling shaky or if your balance is not 100%.
Good running posture is less about a spine which is straight and more about the position of your pelvis. When you engage in the activity of running, your pelvis should be in a neutral position – in other words, not tilted – so that it doesn’t interfere with the functionality of the muscles which are attached to it.
Before you start to run:
Switch between lifting your chest and tailbone as well as rounding your back and dropping your pelvis. A neutral point between these is the pelvis position you want.
When you finish running:
A strong core assists with maintaining a neutral pelvis. Lie supine on your back and lift your legs. Lower these towards the ground in line with your pelvis. Bring your legs back up. Repeat 10 times.
Many athletes are involved in the sport of running. To be the best that they can be, they will need a sports coach who can guide them in perfecting their form and make them into the best possible runner than they can be. They will also need a personal trainer to assist them with making sure that their muscles are honed so that they are able to carry out their activities.
For more information about becoming a personal trainer or sports coach, please visit our website.