The Importance of Core Strength for Runners

By Zach Pigg, PT, DPT

As we approach warmer weather, more and more runners will be lacing up and hitting the pavement. As you start to increase your mileage, it is important to prepare your body for this increase in activity. One of the ways to do this is focusing on your core strength. We often hear the term “core” and automatically envision six-pack abs or think of sit-up exercises. However, when we talk about core we are referring to many of the muscles of the trunk, hips, and pelvis that promote a strong foundation for the way our bodies move. These include the glutes, abdominals, pelvic floor, diaphragm, and muscles of the spine. These muscles lead to greater stability while we run, preventing form breakdown, wasted energy, and injuries.

There has been much research on the relationship of running type injuries and hip strength. It has been shown, that runners who develop injuries present with hip weakness, often in the abductors. The abductor muscles work to keep us aligned, preventing our pelvis from dropping as we take each step. If we are weak or as we fatigue in this area, our biomechanics can become compromised, leading to increased stress on the hips, knees, and feet.

Whether you are training for the Mini or just want to stay active, this is something that can help every runner. Addressing hip and abdominal stability may help improve your performance and prevent injury. Body One’s Sustained Optimal Performance program is available for any client looking to improve overall health, flexibility, balance, and strength. But what if you already have an injury? Addressing these aches and pains with a skilled physical therapist can get you back on the road in optimal form. Body One is locally-owned and has three locations serving central Indiana: North Indianapolis,  Zionsville, and Fishers.