alsoran runners Core Stability

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Let me say up front that I don't profess to being a physiologist or biokenetist so I'm putting this in my own words as I understand it to be.

In my opinion the best means of preventing injury (or fixing injury) is by using your core muscles.  These are those superficial and deep muscles in your “gut” and lower back which take responsibility for the stability of the hips and lower back, and provide the support and protection to the lower back and leg muscles.  A strong core resolves a multitude of sins (or in this case, risk of injury)!

To get the most benefit from your core muscles, you need to learn to run while “tightening” them.  You do this by “pulling in” your tummy.  Remember that you need to be breathing and not holding your breath as you do this.  You will be amazed how this action stabilizes your hips, back and legs.  It may be a good idea to invest in one of those exercise “balls” to assist with the core exercises.  There is also little chance of injury using the ball.  

If this is all new to you it is probably a good idea to do a few core stability classes in order to learn how to hold (or tighten) the core muscles.   I was converted to this way of thinking at the beginning of 2006 after I was diagnosed with multiple stress fractures in my back.  As part of my recovery I had to attend a weekly back class (pilates).  These classes really paid off for me and I was back on the road in no time!

Not convinced?  OK try this, the next time you are running downhill and have sore quads, hammies, knees or back, tighten your core muscles and see the difference some stability brings. 

It’s worth a try!

Key words: core stability, core muscles
Internal links: injury, hammies, downhill running,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2010