Featured on Competitor: Best Core Exercise for Running with Carl Paoli


In this video we get right to it, talking with international movement coach and upcoming author Carl Paoli of his book: Freestyle: Maximizing Sport & Life with Four Basic Movements on the best core exercises you can do right now to both hone and perfect your running form.

But before we dive in too deep, we first discuss what core strength really is and why it’s so important for runners to incorporate into their regular training.

What gives: Why core strength?

According to Paoli, the principal of core strength is the ability to control the spine while moving. Our spine contains the central nervous system which controls how efficiently and powerfully we can move our arms and legs. Something that’s crucial for athletes in every sport. So if we lack core strength, we cannot hope to move our arms or legs very well, making something as complex as running a very difficult task!

Lay it on me: the best core exercise

Some of the best movers on the planet (gymnasts) have used the Hollow Body both as a way to establish a neutral and safe spine and as a way to build performance-enhancing core strength! Carl walks us through a few simple steps to get into the hollow body and to further challenge it. While it may be simple, it certainly is not easy!

Now what: how do I add this core exercise into my weekly routine?

“You can really add this exercise in whenever you want,” says Paoli, “provided you know WHY you’re doing it.” If you’re going to try this exercise pre-run though, we recommend you add a few shorter 10-20 second bursts to warm up your core for running and to practice your posture (without overly fatiguing yourself). Adding it to your warmup builds awareness to your running form for a better run!

Post-run you can get more aggressive! Try adding 3-4 rounds of 30 seconds to complete fatigue (as long as you can go!) That will get your belly burning while improving your core strength, spinal control, and ultimate ability to run future workouts with better posture for longer periods of time.

So there you have it. Why core strength is important. What’s the best exercise. And how to include it in your training!

Feel free to ask questions in the comments on Youtube, or on Facebook! We want to hear from you!