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Core Strength for Runners

runners side plank core strength

Enhance Your Running Performance with Core Strength: Tips from Run R2P

Dear Runners,

One aspect of running related fitness I often see neglected is the core. As a performance physical therapist and run coach, I’d like to emphasize the pivotal role that a strong and resilient core plays in optimizing your running efficiency.

Core training isn’t just about getting those elusive six-pack abs; it’s about enhancing your body’s ability to control motion, maintain stability, and transfer force effectively during each stride. The core functions as the link in the chain that transfers force from limb to limb and lower to upper body.

It’s essential to understand that core training isn’t about restricting your trunk’s movement but rather about controlling and promoting efficient movement patterns. Rotation and the seamless transference of force through your body are vital components of running efficiency.

Core Strength Benchmarks

So, what benchmarks should you aim for in terms of core strength and endurance? While these benchmarks aren’t prerequisites to start running, they serve as goals to work towards:

  1. 75-second front plank
  2. 2-minute prone superman hold
  3. 60-second side plank on each side

Achieving these benchmarks indicates that your core muscles are fatigue-resistant, allowing them to support you longer during your runs or races.

Check out these Side Plank Options HERE

How 2 build core strength

Now, how do you go about achieving these goals? A combination of direct core training and compound lifts forms an effective strategy. Incorporate exercises such as planks, supermans, and side planks into your routine to target your core directly. These are static in nature so don’t forget to add more dynamic tasks that promote rotation and other movements through the core. Compound lifts like squats, lunges, and Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) engage multiple muscle groups, including your core, to enhance overall strength and stability.

Consistency is key. Make core training a regular part of your workout regimen, gradually increasing the intensity and duration as your strength improves. Don’t shy away from seeking guidance from a qualified physical therapist or coach to ensure proper form and technique.

Core training won’t guarantee you avoid injury, but a fatigue resistant core can keep you running stronger for longer. So, lace up those running shoes, hit the trails, and let your strong core propel you towards your running goals!

Happy running!

If you need any further guidance or support along the way please feel free to reach out to me directly at, hopefully we see you at an upcoming R2P Run Club – get the details HERE

Happy Running!

running physical therapist

Dr. Greg Ellis PT, DPT, CSCS

Performance Physical Therapist 

Follow Greg on Instagram (HERE) for more content and to see his running progress!

Check out our R2P+ Digital Program, and see if it is right for you.

Fitness Focused Physical Therapy

Running injuries holding you back? Rehab 2 Perform specializes in preventing risk to re-injury and empowering you with the tools to stay active. We serve the AnnapolisBethesdaColumbiaFrederickGambrillsGermantown and Mt. Airy areas in Maryland, and now in Leesburg, and the Tysons Corner Business District in Virginia. Contact us today at 1(301) 798- 4838 or schedule an appointment by visiting us here today. 

We accept all major insurances, including Tricare, VA Community Care, and the Johns Hopkins Healthcare Network!

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