Runners: Functional Core Routine

Running needs to be combined with cross training and proper nutrition to be an effective tool. By integrating resistance and flexibility training into your running routine, you can crush those miles, all while toning up!

Your core/trunk is a transfer station for everything that goes on in the body. Running dramatically increases the amount of force through the core, pelvic floor and legs. If you don’t have a healthy core, you are likely compensating, which can lead to other structural issues including, knee pain, IT band pain, plantar fasciitis, low back pain and hip flexor issues, just to name a few. Try our Balanced Athlete program in addition to your current running routine. And be sure to download our Running Guide for more in-depth guidance on running safely and effectively—just for moms!

Balanced Athlete Program in the Moms Into Fitness Studio

Best Core Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Here’s a set of six exercises to engage that core, to keep you stable and strong for your running.


Setup: Begin lying on a mat with your feet slightly apart. Place your hands on your lower abdomen.

 Activate your core by adding a small pelvic title. Raise your right knee, bending your leg in a ninety degree angle, then raise your left knee. Keep your lower back on the ground so stronger muscles—like the rectus abdominis and back extensors—don’t take over the weaker muscles.

Perform for 60 seconds.


Setup: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the floor

Tighten your abdominals. Without letting your hip bones move, slowly lower one knee out towards the floor only as far as you can without your pelvis moving. Slowly return to starting position. Alternate with other leg. Do not let your pelvis move.

Perform for 45 seconds.


Setup: From a seated position lift your hips off of the floor so you are supporting yourself with your hands and feet.

While keeping your pelvis stable, lift one foot off of the ground. Place that foot down and lift the other foot. Once you’ve mastered that without rocking your pelvis, try tapping the opposite hand to the opposite knee. It’s sneaky hard!

Perform for 60 seconds.


Setup: Lay with your back flat on a mat, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

Lift your left foot off the floor, keeping you knee bent. Lift your hips off the ground. Push your hips up toward the ceiling while using your abs and glutes to hold your body steady. Repeat the motion and then switch legs, lifting your right leg to do the same move.

Perform for 60 seconds.


Setup: Lift your body into a side plank position.

While holding the side plank, lift your top leg and perform small circles.

Do 30 seconds then switch sides.


Setup: Lay on your side, keeping your hips and legs flat on the floor. Bend your knees slightly and use a resistance band (if desired) right above your knees.

Raise your right knee upward. Keep your feet together so that you are opening your legs like a clam. Bring your knee back down but right before it touches your left knee, bring it back up!

Do 30 seconds then switch to laying on your right side and raising your left leg.

The Moms Into Fitness Studio is packed full of safe and effective workouts to supplement your running. Give it a try for free!