Core Exercises

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

Core Exercises

Finding your Core

core exercises
Collage of varius Gray’s muscle pictures by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)By Matt Fitzgerald,


These days, runners are just as prone to practicing core exercises as any other group. Even while we all talk about and do 6-pack core conditioning, many of us don’t comprehend its benefits and perform it improperly. The most prevalent myth regarding core workouts is that it is primarily intended to improve the muscles in the trunk. While in fact, the primary goal of core conditioning is to improve flexibility, strength, and balance.

Its main goal is to show you how to engage significant stabilizing muscles and combine their use with other muscles in movements particular to your sport.

The majority of us are unable to functionally activate some of our most significant stabilizing muscles while running, which makes this object significant. While this issue decreases our movement efficiency and increases the risk of overuse injuries, using the major stabilizers effectively doesn’t require any special strength; instead, it requires brain and muscle synchronization.

Consider the example of the abdominal wall’s deepest muscles (the transversus abdominis and internal obliques).  According to Michael Fredericson, M.D. A sports medicine specialist at Stanford University. And one of the world’s premier experts on core conditioning for runners. These muscles are vital to the proper stabilization of the pelvis during running (Finding Your Core | ACTIVE, 2006).

How to Develop Abdominals
Transversus abdominis muscle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unable to Activate These Muscles

However, the majority of runners, including the majority of elite runners, are unable to properly activate these muscles to maintain pelvic stability when running. Once more, weakness is not the problem. “It only takes a 10 percent contraction to do the job,” says Fredericson.

Rather, the problem is a lack of neuromuscular communication.

Additionally, our brains have trouble locating these muscles, possibly as a result of the insane amount of time we spend slouching in chairs, a posture that doesn’t use the deep abdominal muscles. Therefore, increasing the deep abs’ maximum force-generating capacity is not necessary to solve the issue. Instead, it necessitates that we learn how to employ them, particularly in actions unique to sports.


Core Workouts
Core Exercises

What’s a good way to do core exercises that doesn’t require any weights or machinery?

Learn These 5 Techniques:

1) First, front planks (and variations – push-ups are a kind of dynamic front plank)

People with pain-free backs should be able to maintain a basic front plank in a nearly ideal position for at least two minutes, according to research on spinal health.


2) Side Steps (and variations)

People with pain-free backs should be able to maintain a basic side plank in a nearly ideal position for 90 seconds or more, according to research on spinal health.


3) Glute Bridges (and Variations)

Once your hips are in line with your knees and shoulders, you should be able to place a tennis ball on your lowest rib, compress it with one thigh, and perform a single-leg glute bridge. This denotes adequate gluteal and maybe psoas strength (which are a part of your core).


4) Legged Holds (and Variations)

super-bird-dog pose with one knee in the chest and one stretched leg beneath you. The straight leg directly beneath you ought should be able to be raised and held. Depending on your skill level, you can begin with simple bird-dog moves.


5) Dead bugs (and Variations)

Eventually, you should be able to lower both of your legs together until they are almost touching the floor before raising them back up to a 90-degree angle with respect to your body. Start with one leg if that’s too difficult; if that’s too difficult, start with your knees bent and work your way up.

Work on the most difficult advancement you can manage with the tools you have at your disposal three times every week.

Chops and lifts (lifts are reverse chops), which focus on training the serape musculature of the core, are the one move that a lack of equipment will prevent you from performing but one that I consider being a pretty essential core move once the above is mastered. In my experience, these movements are a crucial part of training for health and performance. However, bands are a cheap way to accomplish this.


Core Exercises

Core Workouts
Core Workouts

A Diagram of selected Core Workouts. Sometimes Core Workouts are the hardest activity to get done when by yourself. In a group, it’s much easier to complete.

Core Stability

By successfully recruiting the trunk muscles, core stability training teaches the body to manage the position of the lumbar spine during dynamic movements.


The Muscles

The deep trunk muscles,

  • Transversus Abdominis (TA)
  • multifidus (MF)
  • Internal Oblique (IO)
  • Paraspinal, pelvic floor

are key to the active support of the lumbar spine.

The co-contraction of these muscles produces forces via the “thoracolumbar fascia” (TLF). And the “intra-abdominal pressure” (IAP) mechanism stabilizes the lumbar spine. And the paraspinal and MF muscles act directly to resist the forces acting on the lumbar spine.

It is not just the recruitment of these deep-trunk muscles. But how they are recruited is important. Simultaneously, research (Hodges and Richardson, 1997) showed that the TA and MF muscles’ co-contraction occurred before any limbs’ movement.

This suggests that these muscles anticipate dynamic forces that may act on the lumbar spine. And stabilize the area before any movement. Hodges and Richardson (1997 showed that the timing of coordination of these muscles was very significant.



The next stage is to decide how to do core workouts most effectively after identifying the important muscles and how they function. The training routine for enhancing the deep-trunk muscles’ functionality must, however, be tailored to the task at hand; as a result, this tailoring of the training must take into account the type of contraction, the muscle fiber type, and the anatomical location necessary.

However, the deep-trunk muscles are considered to be “stabilizers” by definition. and do not contribute to the creation of movements. Instead, involve static or isometric contractions. Additionally, they must function consistently as stabilizers throughout daily tasks as well as physical and sporting pursuits.

thereby calling for exceptional resistance to low-level forces. These muscles don’t need to be particularly powerful, though. They must therefore be properly coordinated and able to operate continually.

Additionally, we want the lumbar spine to be held in a neutral position by these stabilizer muscles.

Therefore, the proper positioning of the pelvis permits the spine’s natural “S” curve.

Therefore, the following deep-trunk muscle training program is supported by these qualities.

Core Stability ab Workouts at home

The following are examples of core stability ab  workouts:

  • Core Stability Exercises
  • The “Alfa Romeo” workout
  • The “Aston Martin” workout
  • The “Audi” workout
  • The “Bentley” workout
  • The “BMW” workout
  • The “Buick” workout
  • The “Lotus” workout
  • The “Mercedes Benz” workout
  • The “McLaren” workout
  • The “Morgan” workout



Finding your core | ACTIVE. (2006, May 16). ACTIVE.Com;

Hodges, P.W., Richardson, C.A. Contraction of the abdominal muscles associated with movement of the lower limb – PubMed. (1997, February 1). PubMed;





By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here

You cannot copy content of this page