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core strength



Runners Should Be Running Stronger

Fall race season is upon us. There will be multiple foot races taking place nearly every weekend until Christmas. Are you training strong for these races? That doesn’t just mean getting in the miles and stretching, it’s literal. Strength training is a crucial part of race training that many runners overlook.

runner lunge

 Hanna Rosov is a personal trainer at Zeal Fitness in Wichita, KS who has a passion for running. She is also passionate about runners getting strong. Rosov explains why runners would benefit from building their muscles.

Rosov said, “Strength training that targets a specific movement helps reduce injury in runners. We can strengthen weak muscles so that they are more able to help support joints and primary muscles to prevent break down in form, which causes injury.”

Rosov also explains that strength training helps muscles coordinate together better. “By practicing a movement in a controlled way with a weight we can make those muscles work together more efficiently,” said Rosov.


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Floppy Fish: Core-Strengthening Move with a Twist

by Alexandra Williams, MA from Fun and Fit

Holding a plank for a few minutes or doing 100 crunches may be impressive, but did you know these exercises don’t actually make you much stronger in the abs or back? If you want to assess and improve your core strength, try the “Floppy Fish.” A funny name for an exercise, but videotape yourself doing it, and you just might discover why it has that name!

Core strength is important for keeping you upright with good posture. You want that, because good posture helps you look more confident and fit.

* Lie down on one end of your mat in prone position, perpendicular to the mat
* Place one hand on top of the other, with arms out long in front of you and off the floor. Elbows should be slightly bent
* Cross your feet at the ankles, knees slightly bent, with legs out long and off the floor
* Tuck your chin toward (not to) your chest so that you are looking down at the floor directly below your head
* Verify that you are touching the mat (or floor) only from the chest to the hips. Everything else is lifted slightly
* Tighten everywhere your belt touches, then roll slowly from one end of the mat to the other. Return back to start.
* Repeat this exercise 3 times in each direction, remembering to keep your limbs off the ground
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Saturday Morning Drill: Body Weight Workout

Many of us look forward to the weekend for several reasons, whether we have big plans or are just ready for some rest. If you’re like me, you have a hard time getting yourself to the gym on Saturday mornings when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing (like sleeping in).

When you finally do get up and around, there are a lot of workouts you can do right in your own home without any equipment other than your own body weight. These exercises are a great switch up from your regular gym routine and can benefit your body no matter how intense your normal workouts may be.

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve come up with several body weight and plyometric exercises that will get your blood pumping, sweat dripping and help strengthen your upper body and core. Among the many benefits of plyometric workouts are muscle development, speed, agility, endurance, coordination and fat loss. Let’s get started.



3 Yoga Poses for Pain Free Snow Shoveling

Just like a tough weightlifting routine at the gym, shoveling snow is also hard work. Treat it as you would any hardcore yet safe and effective workout and you will gain the benefits just as you would a carefully designed exercise program.

The following yoga poses and shoveling tips can help keep you strong, fit and protect your body from injury when the sidewalk is knee-deep in snow.

Recline Twist

A flexible spine is a healthy spine, especially when it comes to shoveling heavy snow. Practice this twist before and after shoveling.

Lie down on your back with your right knee pulled into your chest and your left leg extended on the floor. Reach for your right knee with your left hand and roll onto your left hip. Extend your right arm out to the side. Hold for 10 deep breaths and switch sides.


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Boat Pose Made Easier

Core work is an integral part of having a strong, lithe body with an upright and healthy posture, but if the mere thought of boat pose (an intense core centered yoga pose) makes you want to keel over and abandon ship, read how you can make it smooth sailing and much easier on yourself.

Don’t go overboard

Start with the basics. Before attempting the full expression of boat pose (with both legs and arms extended off the floor) practice the beginner version until you can fully integrate your core without compromising your low back.

Sit comfortably on your mat. Place both hands about 12 inches behind your hips and place them shoulder width apart. Bend both elbows and lean slightly onto your hands. Rock your pelvis forward just enough so you are teetering on top of your sit bones (the bony protrusions at the base of your pelvis).


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