Monthly Workout Round Up – Core Workouts for Runners

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

Once upon a time, the words “core exercises” used to make me cringe. One of my clients still remembers me telling her, “You are not an apple,” when she first told me she really wanted to work on her core. To work on your “core” to me brought forth countless infuriating articles in women’s health and fitness magazines, with their hundreds of variations of crunches and their thinly veiled suggestion that if you just did enough of those crunches, you’d spot reduce your belly to a tight, defined six-pack of abs.

Delineating what the core exactly is when it comes to the human body was something I had a hard time getting my head around too. Our bodies don’t move in a way that isolates one group of muscles and some of my favorite exercises – deadlifts, squats, lunges – all of these utilize your abdominals and back muscles. But…if there’s something I’ve learned in years of being a trainer, you should always leave yourself open-minded enough to listen to the ‘buts’. 

BUT strong abdominals assist with maintaining posture as you tire during endurance running.

BUT having strong back muscles help draw your shoulders back, opening up your chest to breathe better and improve posture.

BUT strong glutes help drive you uphill and power your run. 

And that right there is the runner’s core. Focus on your abs, your back muscles and your glutes as the cornerstone of your workout and you’ll be building yourself up as a stronger, more powerful runner. And to help you out, today is my favorite post of the month, the monthly workout round-up with Angela, Laura, Allie, Nellie and Sarah. So I have not one, but six fantastic core workouts for runners for you to add to your strength training.

Let’s start with my core workout for runners. Try two sets of 15 – 20 repetitions.

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

3 SETS of 15 – 20 REPS


If you have a lot of space you can do traveling inchworms: Start in a plank position, then inch your feet up to a down dog position. Then, inch your hands forward until you’re back in a plank. Continue on, alternating feet to arms if you have room.

If you only have the space of your mat, you can modify for space, by inching feet up into down dog, then back to plank position and repeat.


On all fours with a neutral spine, extend one arm and the opposite leg out as far as you can, then slowly return to starting position. Alternate sides and focus on keeping your spine neutral, without rolling from side to side to maintain balance.


Get into either a forearm or hand plank, lift one straight leg up, then the other (that’s the ‘flutter’), then jump your feet out and back in (that’s the ‘jack’). That is one repetition.


Use a bench (or a couch) to get into an elevated hand plank position. Keeping your abs tight and a neutral spine, do a push up, come back to hand plank, then pull one knee into your chest and push it up behind you into a donkey kick. Repeat the kick on the other side and YES that’s one rep! 🙂 You’re welcome.


Lets get those lovely postural muscles in your back firing. Get into a bentover deadlift position, then use dumbbells for a narrow (elbows in) row. With weights at the shoulder position, then come up into a good morning (basically a hip hinge up to standing position).


Step back into a reverse lunge, then drive your knee up as you come up from the lunge. To make this even more runner specific, you can hold dumbbells in each hand and mimic running arms as you lunge and drive your knee.


This is such a great full body movement – one of my favorite moves for sure. With a wide stance, holding a medicine ball, lean into one side, then raise the ball with straight arms up and over the opposite shoulder, ensuring your hip and foot follows the movement of the weight.

In addition to this workout, I suggest taking one run a week (an easy run, or your long run) and use some of your time to really focus on your posture and breathing. Notice how your chest, diaphragm and abdominals work in unison as you breathe. Try a few minutes of running while you’re tightening your abs, tucking your tailbone under, and drawing your shoulder blades back to open your chest. Just notice how this feels as you run and how it affects your form. When you’re running uphill, squeeze your glutes and imagine them firing to drive you up the hill. 

Okay, ready for more great core workouts for runners? Check out my fabulous running blogger friends’ workouts below!

Allie from Vita Train for Life has put together an awesome video workout for you! Check it out (and subscribe to her channel while you’re at it.) 

Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama has a great core workout for everyone, but is something that anyone with diastasis recti will particularly find helpful (separation of your abdominal wall – common for postpartum mamas).

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

Angela from Happy Fit Mama is a woman after my own heart with her emphasis on planks (remember when I gave you a workout entirely made up of planks??), plus Angela’s workout is great for upper body strength as well:

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

Laura from This Runner’s Recipes incorporates some Pilates moves and an exercise I love (yes, that means my clients hate it), stability ball passes:

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

Sarah from Run Far Girl has a simple, effective and deadly core workout for you. Are you guys sensing some planks in your future? I love this workout, I will definitely incorporate it into my strength training:

Core Workouts for Runners - six core workouts designed for runners, by runners. A strong core is the key to being a faster, stronger runner.

Why Running Blogs are Every Runner’s Best Friend

Why Running Blogs are Every Runner's Best Friend

I'm so excited to share a guest post from my running blogger friend Ellen today. I love reading her blog, Tale of Two Runs, because when reading her posts, you can honestly feel her love of running and enthusiasm for the sport and the running community. Right now Ellen is training for her first full marathon and it's so fun to catch up on her … [Continue reading]

High Five Friday

High Five Friday - starting off the weekend with some happy news, great reads, positivity and good vibes.

Hola my lovelies and happy Friday! It's time to share good times, good reads and things making me feel good from the week - because a little bit of positivity never went astray, right? I'm linking up with Angela, so you should check out her blog for more high five posts. HIGH FIVE FROM INSTAGRAM You can come follow me on Instagram here, if we're … [Continue reading]

4 Questions to Ask When You Have a Bad Workout

4 Questions to Ask When You Have a Bad Workout

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "You never regret a workout." Well, maybe you don't regret working out, but anyone who exercises consistently has definitely had an experience of just nothing going right and suffering through a suckfest of a workout (that's a technical term, of course). Whether it's a run which feels like an interminable slog, a … [Continue reading]

Full Body Plank Workout

A full body plank workout you can do anywhere! Great for working on your abs, posture and strength.

Nearly every single workout I do, I incorporate some form of a plank exercise. And my clients will be quick to complain  tell you that their workouts always seem to have planking involved. Why do I love the plank? It's a simple position in which you're maintaining good posture while working against gravity. Add in limb movement or weights and … [Continue reading]

Monthly Workout Round Up – Speed Workout

6 Speed Workouts for Runners. Part of a monthly workouts for runners round up from running coaches, trainers and bloggers.

A week ago a friend of mine reached out to ask me for advice on how to start building up speed in her running. She had surgery earlier this year and has been easing back into her workout routine. I gave her some general tips and then looked at my blog calendar. I wrote her back excitedly to tell her to wait a week and she'd have 6 blog posts of … [Continue reading]

High Five Friday

High Five Friday - sharing 5 good things about the week. Positivity and happiness can be contagious - let’s spread the joy by sharing what’s going right in our life!

Happy Friday! :) I don't know about you guys but I am loving getting out every day with this gorgeous summer weather. The difference in humidity between NYC and Vermont is such a change and I am doing a lot more walking and running and just hanging out outdoors. Hence my blogging has been a little light, but I know you'll forgive me.  This … [Continue reading]

Running Lessons from a 4 Year Old

Running Lessons From a 4 Year Old - sometimes we need a kid to remind us of the joy we can find in running.

Last week, I was home one day with both boys and decided we needed to get out for an explore. Our go-to is to wander down by the river and find some paths to traipse along by the water. But I wanted to do something different, so I suggested going to the cross country ski trails a mile or so away and taking a walk where Mama likes to go … [Continue reading]

Wall Sit Workout

Try this wall sit workout as a challenge at the end of your next run or strength training session.

Wall sits are an exercise I know I'll get eye rolls (at best) from clients when they find out they're included in their session. While they seem like an exercise in just making you question your trainer's sadistic streak, wall sits are actually a great way to build strength in your quads, glutes and calves.  Next time you're looking … [Continue reading]

Would You Rather Running Survey

Would you rather - a running survey.

There's something about the week following a long weekend that encourages slacking. So in that spirit, I put together a little 'would you rather' running survey. Leave your answers in the comments if you'd like to play along! Would you rather.... Run in subzero temperatures, or hot and humid? This is too easy. Subzero in a heartbeat. After the … [Continue reading]