10 abs exercises for runners

“Your core is what holds you upright when sprinting and running,” says Cory Wharton-Malcolm, certified running coach and co-founder of Track Mafia, a running club in London. “That’s the key, so building that core strength helps you be a stronger runner.” Every Thursday, Wharton-Malcolm and his crew of about 30 meet at Paddington Recreation Grounds to run through some sprints and drills. Then, they end the workout with ten abs exercises. (To learn more about Track Mafia and why they’re the most mysterious running group in London, check out our full feature here.)

Wharton-Malcom and co. make up the exact workout on the spot. “That’s the idea,” he says, “We take it in turns and it’s normally ten minutes, so ten moves.” Here, a sample routine you can do in the gym or outside.

Try it after a run or as an add-on to any other workout. Perform each exercise*, one after the next, for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds in between each. “They’re all done fluidly, just like yoga,” says Wharton-Malcolm.

*Exercises demonstrated byEmanuel Yeboah, a professional soccer player in London (for Crystal Palace). For more on the soccer scene in the UK, check out thefull story here, featuring Yeboah and other rising soccer stars.

Lie face-up with your legs a few inches off the ground and your hands under your glutes. Begin to “flutter” your legs up and down a few inches. Continue for 45 seconds. 

Lie face-up with your legs a few inches off the ground and your hands under your glutes. Begin to scissor your legs, alternating one over the other, for 45 seconds.

Begin in a forearm plank position. Place your right hand on the ground, then your left, coming up to a high plank position. Reverse the movement to return to start. Continue for 45 seconds. 

Begin in a high plank position. Drive your knee in towards your right elbow and quickly return it to start as you bring your left knee towards your left elbow. Continue quickly alternating legs for 45 seconds. 

Begin in a push-up position. Slowly lower down towards the ground as you bend your left knee, bringing it out to the side and towards your left elbow. Simultaneously push back up as you return your foot to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 45 seconds.

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet a few inches off the ground. Clasp your hands in front of you and twist to the right, bringing your hands to the outside of your right hip. Then, move through center as you twist to the left. Continue alternating for 45 seconds. 

From all fours, raise your knees up about one to two inches off the ground. Hold this position for 45 seconds. 

Lie face-up with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, arms by your sides. Raise your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold this position for 45 seconds. 

Begin in the same starting position as Reverse Bridge. Lift hips again but this time straighten your left leg. Hold for 20 seconds, then switch legs for another 20 seconds. 

Lie face-up on the ground with legs outstretched and arms overhead. In one motion, bring your legs (keeping them as straight as possible) and your hands to meet over the midline of your body. Return to start and immediately repeat, continuing for 45 seconds.