Whether you’re training for a marathon or partaking in casual running, core strength and mobility exercises are extremely important for a runner’s overall health. A strong core sets the foundation for healthy posture and can help runners prevent injuries and imbalances.

Two useful core exercises are the bird dog and dead bug. The bird dog exercise helps increase strength in the abdominals, lower back, butt, and thighs. The dead bug focuses on core strength without straining the back. It can also help with mobility through arm – leg coordination.

Bird Dog

Step 1: Start with your hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.

Step 2: Tighten your stomach muscles, and keep your back stable.

Step 3: Reach your right arm forward and your left leg back, without letting your hip drop to one side. Hold for five seconds, and return to starting position. Repeat with alternate arm and leg.

Step 4: Return to starting position and repeat with opposite arm and leg. Continue alternating for 20 reps.

Dead Bug

Step 1: Lie on your back, arms extended above you with fingers pointing at the ceiling.

Step 2: Flatten your back to the floor and tighten your abdominals.

Step 3: Take a deep breath in. During the exhale, slowly extend your left leg and right arm toward the floor without letting your back arch.

Step 4: Return to starting position and repeat with opposite arm and leg. Continue alternating for 20 reps.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete or looking to improve your physical health, at Aligned Modern Health in Chicago, we offer comprehensive care, sports rehabilitation, and pain management. Our team, voted Best Sports Rehab in the Midwest (Competitor Magazine), focuses on muscle strengthening and stretching to restore and improve mobility and balance. We perform in-office physical rehabilitation and empower our patients with the education they need to incorporate these exercises into their own schedule. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with our team today!