erin taylor jasyoga oiselle running

If you’re serious about running your best, you should be serious about keeping your core strong. When it comes to the core, one of the biggest problems for runners is that form suffers as the miles add up and your abs gets tired, allowing your spine to round forward (we all have race pictures to prove it). This also reduces your breath capacity, which decreases your endurance.

Traditional core exercises like crunches simply reinforce the poor posture you’re trying to avoid. Instead, focus on building strength in a way that’s relevant to running — mimic your stride while strengthening your core muscles (from the deepest layer out to the surface) to stabilize your spine where you want it to be, especially when you’re tired.

Pre-game your run with this quick sequence to activate and strengthen your core, as well as align your stride. Hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths, focusing on keeping your spine long and neutral. Do all 3 poses before switching sides…


Runner’s Lunge

  1. Come into a long stride lunge, making sure your front knee is directly over the ankle.
  2. Once you feel stable, reach your arms overhead and turn the pinky sides of your palms toward each other.
  3. Engaging your core, draw your belly away from your front thigh and in toward the spine to lengthen up.


Extended Runner’s Lunge (from Runner’s Lunge)

  1. Keep engaging your core to maintain a long, neutral spine as you tilt your torso forward, creating a diagonal line from your hands to your back heel.

NOTE: If your back feels strained, put your hands on your hips.


Warrior 3 (from Extended Runner’s Lunge)

  1. Take a little step forward with your back foot, and then lift off!
  2. Bring your torso and arms parallel to the ground.
  3. Flex your back foot and keep the toes pointing down as you bring that leg parallel to the ground. 

NOTE: If your back feels strained, put your hands on your hips.

Now get out there and run! For more functional core strengthening to optimize your running, check out Jasyoga’s new core videos on

Photo credit: Claire Pepper

July 02, 2015 — jacquelyn scofield

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