You run, right? Then you absolutely need to know whether your core is strong. That’s what this segment is all about, measuring it so you know.
In Part 1, I posted some stats on injury incidence in runners. I then outlined some traditional strength tests.
Today, I’ve got some cool “core” stuff for you to try. By going through these 5 self-assessments, you’ll know right away if your core is strong. If it is, keep up the good work. If you find one or more tests that challenge you, the test itself becomes your exercise program, which you can swiftly carry out at home or at the gym.
I’ll list the test position, including a picture. If you find you are unable to complete the repetitions or you can’t keep your body aligned and your core muscles activated, you’ll need to get to work on strengthening your core.
1. Sustained bridge with small marching quick steps (30 reps). Keep a straight line from your knees through your hips to your shoulders (notice that my hips have dropped a bit).
2. Prone on elbows with quick small toe taps (30 reps). Keep your body straight in line.
3. Side lying elbow plank position with leg raise to horizontal (30 reps per side).
4. Supine plank with heel raises (30 reps). Keep your butt off the ground, supporting yourself on your shoulder blades and one heel.
5. Step down and back from an 8 inch step (30 reps each side). Keep your knee positioned over the middle of your foot.
Remember, if you’re not able to maintain the position or you fatigue before completing the prescribed number of repetitions, use that particular test position as your new exercise. Consider doing the exercise daily during your training period, and keep up on it until you can pass the test with flying colors!
Good luck. Next time in Part 3 of this series, I’ll outline dynamic tests and treatments that you may find helpful.