Core Workout for Runners: How to Improve Endurance and Strengthen Your Abs

Become a powerhouse runner with these core workouts.

Running isn’t just a leg exercise; the core plays an enormous role in the sport. Knowing that our arms and legs stem from the core is a huge indicator as to how important it really is. Your core is your foundation. It includes your ab and back muscles, which are responsible for spinal stability, balance, posture, rotation, and flexion. This Core Workout for Runners is designed to improve all of these things!

Having a strong core will allow your legs, glutes, and hips to become stronger, thus making you a better runner. Running is like most forms of exercise: it’s improved by consistent practice. For many people, it is their primary mode of exercise. Running offers many benefits to the body including weight control, improved heart & lung health, and even a boosted feeling of positivity. With that being said, running can also take a toll on the body. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the muscles involved are as strong (and flexible) as possible.

The Workout

What you need: A timer (which would also be handy for running intervals) and towel or a Yoga mat.

What to do: Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, giving yourself 15 seconds of rest in between each exercise. Keep in mind that the Side Planks with Hip Lifts and Single-Leg Hip Bridges will be 45 seconds per side. Each circuit will take approximately 8 minutes. We’ve also included instructional videos for each move below.

  • Beginner: Complete 1 round
  • Intermediate: Complete 2 rounds
  • Advanced: Complete 3 rounds
  1. Plank with Arm and Leg Reach

  2. Superman

  3. Side Plank with Hip Lifts

  4. Bicycle Crunches

  5. Single-Leg Hip Bridges

  6. Stability Ball Leg Lifts

As you’re making each movement, make sure to focus on your breathing through the entirety of each movement. This will not only help to build stamina but will also allow you to feel each movement even deeper.

Instructional Videos

Plank with Arm and Leg Reach


Side Plank with Hip Lifts

Bicycle Crunches

Single-Leg Hip Bridges

Stability Ball Leg Lifts

There’s no doubt that a stronger core will make you a better runner. This Core Workout for Runners will help get you there! Because you’re looking for the best possible results, you’ll want to perform your circuits at least 3-times each week. In order to become stronger and maintain muscle mass, it’s imperative that you get enough protein in your diet. Try getting started with these 21 Protein-Packed Dinner Recipes.

And don’t forget that running routine wouldn’t be complete without a proper stretching routine. Flexibility is HUGE when it comes to improving your running skills. Try the 8 Best Yoga Poses for Runners.

For all of the latest and greatest core workouts and running routines, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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