As a runner, your core is your center of power. Core stability helps your legs power up and down hills and fly during speed work on the track. The stronger your core, the more efficient your performance will be.
You also want to have flexibility and mobility—and adding yoga into your routine can help you build that. Doing yoga for an abs workout might not be the first think to come to mind, but it can be very beneficial for multiple reasons.
That’s why Lindsey Clayton, senior instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp and cofounder of the Brave Body Project, created a core workout inspired by well-known yoga moves, but geared toward building core strength and stability for runners.
The yoga-inspired stretching that’s peppered into this workout is a great way for athletes to increase flexibility, work on mobility, and move their body in a way that compliments what they, according to Clayton.
How to do it: Perform each move for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before starting the next move. Rest for 1 minute between sets, completing 2 or 3 sets total. Each move can be modified to match your level of flexibility and core strength. You’ll need a yoga mat.
Forearm Plank Inchworm to Hip Dip
Start in a forearm plank position with core tight and elbows directly under shoulders. Keeping forearms planted, walk feet toward hands, raising hips into an inverted V. Walk feet back out to return to starting position. Then engage obliques and core, rotate your lower body to the right and dip right hip bone toward the floor. Repeat on the left side. Return to starting position and repeat, alternating between inchworm and hip dips.
Start in forearm plank position with shoulders over elbows and core engaged. Replace right elbow with right hand, then left elbow with left hand until you’re up in a high plank position. Reverse to drop back into a forearm plank position. Continue to repeat, alternating the lead hand each time.
Three-Legged Dog to Knee-to-Elbow Plank
Start in a downward facing dog position, lift left leg off the ground, sending left leg toward the ceiling. Then, in one motion, transition to. high plank position as you draw left knee up to left elbow, aiming to tap knee to left triceps, then bringing knee across, aiming to tap knee to right triceps. Engage glutes and legs to prevent hips from lifting or dipping, so body forms a straight line from heels to head. Then, return to the starting position. Repeat on the right side, keeping core stable and hips from rotating.
Rocking Boat Pose
Start seated with knees bent, feet on floor, both hands resting behind you. Lean back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your legs together, lift them off the floor as you extend arms forward at shoulder height. Lean back so that your torso and upper body are at a 45-degree angle. Rock back, so you are lying faceup, sending feet toward ceiling and glutes off the floor. Keeping core engaged, rock back up to starting position. Pause briefly, then repeat. To make the move more challenging, straighten your legs to bring your body into a V shape before rocking back.
Boat Pose With Oblique Twist
Start seated with knees bent, feet on floor, both hands resting behind you. Lean back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your legs together, lift them off the floor as you extend arms forward at shoulder height. Lean back so that your torso and upper body are at a 45-degree angle. With elbows bent and hands together, rotate your torso from one side to the other, tapping the ground on each side.
To make the move more challenging, straighten your legs to bring your body into a V shape. Or, if your hamstrings are tight or you need to make the move easier, bend your knees at a 45-degree angle to rest your feet on the ground.