Cross Training: Core Exercises (and a Giveaway)

A strong core can be a great benefit to runners. It can improve your form, allowing you to stay more upright while running. When you slump over you compress your diaphragm, which inhibits your ability to take a deep breath. Your core is also responsible for stabilizing your body while you run. The more stable your core is, the less you will have unnecessary movement through your shoulders and hips. This helps improve your running efficiency and helps you run faster.

Planks are a key core exercise because they work multiple muscle groups at once. I have demonstrated a few of my favorite plank variations in the videos below. As always, please consult your doctor before attempting any of these exercises if you have a previously existing health condition. Also, please be aware that some of the moves demonstrated are advanced, so don’t attempt them until you have mastered the easier variations first.

For all of these exercises, make sure that you focus on tightening your abs. You can imagine that you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine as you contract your muscles. Don’t rush through the movements. Take your time and make sure that each move is controlled.



If you have any questions about any of the exercises please leave me a comment below. I’m always happy to help!

Also, the Stomp Apparel giveaway is live through February 27, 2015. You can enter below for a chance to win a gift voucher for $150 AUD (approximately $120 US) in athletic apparel. You can read about what qualities I look for in athletic apparel, and my favorite Stomp Apparel pieces here.

I’m linking up with the following blogs this week. Be sure to check them out for more inspiration.

Epic Mommy Adventures
Femme Fitale Fit Club
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  1. Love these plank variations! I have been trying to get creative with my core work to make it more challenging. These are great additions to what I’ve been doing- thanks for sharing!

  2. I need some good core exercises. I can’t wait to try these! I’m sure they will kick my butt.

  3. Aimee, love the videos! Way to go. It’s so convenient to have all these exercises all in one place. Thanks for sharing. And you’re in great shape! Keep it up, and thanks for linking!

    • Thanks so much Jessica Joy! I really appreciate you hosting the link up! It’s been wonderful getting to connect with like minded bloggers. 🙂

  4. Ooh these look awesome! Going to add them into my workouts!

  5. I love adding variety to planks! Thanks for linking up and sharing with the #fitfam.

  6. These core exercises look killer- love plank varieties and using the SB! Thanks so much for linking up! 🙂

  7. Oh these look awesome! I’ve been trying to do planks every day- I already feel a difference. Love the variations!

  8. Great videos! I love working on my core (even though it can be tough) and know that it totally helps my running form! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Love doing planks! I’ve been getting much better with the regular planks but need to practice variations much more. Thanks for these! #wowlinkup

  10. Strong core can benefit most sports. I love doing planks and this post is going to make me do them this evening. #wowlinkup

  11. Having a strong core certainly has helped my running and yoga! I actually love planks, so I’m excited to try the walkovers!

  12. Love good core workouts!

  13. These are awesome core workouts! I’m a birth doula, do you think these core exercises would be, for a momma who is already fit, a good workout for the first trimester?

    • I didn’t realize you were a doula Rebekah! The plank side walkovers should be fine. The stability ball exercises may be ok in the first trimester if the mother already has a strong core. Once your center of gravity begins to change it might be difficult to maintain a neutral spine position on the stability ball. Beyond the first trimester I would be concerned about diastasis recti, so I wouldn’t recommend them. (It doesn’t sound like you were planning on using them beyond the first trimester anyway though.) I actually have a post that I’m working on about diastasis recti describing what it is & exercises to help it heal. Hopefully it will be up in the next week or two. 🙂

  14. Oooh…I love me some planks 🙂 I will have to add these variations into my routine. #wowlinkup

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