While at Blogfest in July I got to meet some pretty freakin’ awesome health and fitness bloggers. I knew immediately a few bloggers that I wanted to work with. One such blogger was Canadian Ariana Fotinakis. I think I immediately connected to her because, like me, she’s a fitness professional trying to balance work, blogging, and life; which can be pretty challenging. Today’s blog post is brought to you by Personal Trainer, and endurance cardio junkie Ariana, plus don’t forget to check out my guest blog post for her: 5 endurance tips for endurance athletes on a plant based diet.
The Best Core Exercise Runners Probably Aren’t Doing
If you’re a runner you’ve most likely heard about how important it is to include strength training into your routine. And you may even know that certain exercises are better for runners than others. For example:
- Biceps curls: probably not the most necessary addition to a strength training program for runners.
- Walking lunges: excellent for developing more powerful running strides, and thus a very welcome addition to your program.
But I am going to share one of my favourite exercises for runners with you; one that I unfortunately very rarely see runners performing!
THE RENEGADE ROW
Sounds pretty hardcore, doesn’t it? While it’s definitely one of the more challenging exercises, there are ways to modify it so you can work your way to doing it in its entirety. The Renegade Row gets it all – not only do you strengthen the muscles of your upper back (which is crucial for maintaining proper posture while running and looking good in your race pictures!) but you also develop massive core strength as you work to keep the body stable while you row one arm and then the other. Those hip stabilizers will fire up as you fight to keep your hips from rocking, and if you throw a push-up in between each row you’ll reach full-body superhero status!
So how do you perform this beast of a movement?
Begin in a full plank position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Set your feet a little farther apart to make this slightly easier, or keep them close together for a more narrow base of support and thus a more challenging exercise.
Fire up that core as you retract one shoulder blade and bend your elbow to perform a row. Once you set that arm back down do the same with the opposite side. The goal is to have those hips rock as little as possible as you switch from one arm to the next. Feeling tough? Throw a push-up in between each row!
If this is too difficult a movement to begin with, not to worry! Drop the knees so you’re in a modified plank position, and then the rest of the rules will apply. You will still strengthen your back and core so that you’ll be doing the full version in no time!
I recommend incorporating this exercise into your strength training routine twice each week, for at least two sets of 10 reps on each side. Depending on your specific goals and the weight you’re using, you may want to adjust the rep and set scheme.
What’s your favourite exercise that makes you a stronger and more bulletproof runner?
Ariana Fotinakis is a personal trainer, half marathoner, and triathlete living in Vancouver, BC. Through personal and digital training along with local group fitness classes she helps runners across the globe get stronger, faster, and bulletproof their bodies. For more running tips, recipes, and mindset-boosting motivation, check her out on: