Three Reasons Runners Should Do Planks

When it comes to core workouts, most people think about crunches. But Coach Scott Young says that instead of crunches, runners should do planks.

When we think about core workouts, we usually think about crunches. But Coach Scott Young says that instead of crunches, runners should do planks.

We do crunches all day, especially if we sit at a desk, says Coach Scott. “When you sit up from a chair, you’re doing crunches, and that’s why people get back problems because (only the front) muscles get a workout.

The plank works the “entire wraparound area” – all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes.

Here are three reasons planks are better than crunches for runners:

1. It will improve your posture.

Doing planks regularly is going to strengthen your core so that when you run you stay more upright. And posture is important while running because it affects your breathing. “If you start to slump down, then your lungs aren’t going to work properly. By holding your carriage upright, you’ll be better able to breathe effectively.

2. It will burn more energy.

Doing planks on a daily basis will actually start to boost your metabolism. The muscles you’re strengthening will ensure that you’re burning more energy, even when you’re just sitting at your desk.

3. Planks are time-efficient.

It only takes a few minutes to get substantial results. In fact, you should start out with less than a minute and work your way up over time.

How to perform a plank.
  • Get down on the floor into a push up position.
  • Lower your arms to a 90-degree angle with your forearms on the floor.
  • Relax your head and keep your gaze to the floor.
  • Keep your torso rigid and your body straight from head to toes.
  • Engage your abs, don’t let your hips rise or your stomach sag.
  • Don’t forget to breathe.
  • When your body gives out, give it up for that session.
    Start with 10 seconds, then every few days work your way up to 30, 45, 60. See how far you can go!
Plank Challenge

Below is a 28-day plank challenge that frequently makes the rounds on social media.

1

20s

2

20s

3

30s

4

30s

5

40s

6

rest

7

45s

8

45s

9

1m

10

1m

11

1m

12

1m 30s

13

rest

14

1m 30s

15

1m 30s

16

2m

17

2m

18

2m 30s

19

rest

20

2m 30s

21

2m 30s

22

3m

23

3m

24

3m 30s

25

rest

26

3m 30s

27

4m

28

Hold as long as possible

A friend shared this with me with me last summer, and I got up to about 2 minutes 30 seconds. I have to admit it helped me feel stronger as a runner. I haven’t keep it up as frequently since, but when I remember that I should be doing it, I try to hold one as long as I can.

How do you feel about planks? Have you tried a challenge like this? How far did you get?

Author: Shelley English

Shelley is a wife, mom and executive assistant who loves to spend the rest of her time running and writing.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here!

wpDiscuz