Kate is the inventor of "Spikease" a clever product that slips over your track spikes. She is blogging about some of the things she's learned over the years that will help Youth Runners, Jumpers, and Throwers.
The Importance of Core Work
You run, you jump, you throw. And to do this successfully, you need a strong core, meaning your back and abs. Your core is what stabilizes you and is crucial to your performance in your track and field events.
It is important that in addition to your run, jump or throw workout you incorporate core work. This can be as simple as a series of ab and back exercises you do several times a week to other activities such as yoga and Pilates. Both yoga and Pilates focus immensely on the core, and can help you build a solid foundation to be successful as an athlete.
If you are new to core work, try these simple exercises:
- Back extension (like a crunch for your back): Lie on your stomach and extend your arms in front of you. Lift your arms and legs simultaneously a few inches off of the ground and hold for 2 seconds. It is a very small motion and you don’t want to rock back and forth. Once you get good at this you can alternate raising your right arm and left leg and then switching. Do this 15-20 times slowly.
- Crunch: Lie on your back with your legs bent and place your hands behind your head. Before you lift your upper body, set your core by engaging your abs. Slowly lift your head enough to look at your belly button and hold for 2 seconds. Do this 20-25 times.
The goal isn’t to do these exercise as fast as you can, but to really feel each motion and how engaged your core is. When you do them correctly, it’s surprising how hard these slow and simple exercises can be.
These exercise can be incorporated into your workouts in just a few minutes a day, but can really beneficial.
Best of luck this season!