5 Ab Exercises for Runners

24 05 2011

By Dena Stern

exercise.com

According to a recently published study “runners who did these moves four times a week shaved a minute off their 5K times in six weeks.”

Whether you are training for an endurance run or just looking to improve the quality of your weekly job these ab moves are a must.

Directions: Perform two sets of 12 reps of each exercise.

Instability Crunch

Begin by lying on your back on a exercise ballwith your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. To be safe you can anchor your feet under a stable object. Place your hands behind your head and extend your elbow out as you roll your upper body forward and up. Roll

For more of a challenge try: Weighted Ball Crunch

Hip Lift

Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, palms down, and your legs bent on top of a exercise ball. Press your heels into the ball while raising your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should end at a 45 degree angle to the ball. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: One Leg Hamstring Dips

Back Extension

Lie on an exercise ball with your belly button over the center of the ball and your arms and legs extended. Contract your abs and raise your upper body off the ball until your body forms a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Lower and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: Medicine Ball Hyperextension

All Fours

Begin with your hands and knees on the floor, shoulder and hip width apart, facing downward with your back straight and parallel to the floor.

aise your right leg and extend it behind you as you lift your left arm and extend it in front of you. Hold this position for about five seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

For more of a challenge try: All Fours with Weighted Balls

Russian Twist

Begin by lying on your back on top of a exercise ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms toward the ceiling and bring your hands together. Keep your arms straight as you twist from side.

For more of a challenge try: Russian Twist with Weights

Dena Stern is a certified personal trainer and the Content & Community Manager for Exercise.com. She works with a highly trained group of nutritionists, trainers, yoga and Pilates instructors and athletes to provide the best information, tools and motivation related to exercise and fitness.

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