Posted: 26/01/2013 at 23:45
I still argue that it's a waste of time. There is no research to suggest that it has any benefit and plenty of sound arguments it doesn't .
I agree runners need strength and I argue that core training exercises should be dynamic , three dimensional and performed standing up. In fact the American College of sports medicine in 2010 said exactly that.
There are plenty of better ways to train the core than the way 99% of people do it now.
Traditional core exercises do improve core strength ( all the research I have seen agree with this) BUT improved core strength doesn't equal improved running performance.
In the same way that people who can do a heavy squat in the gym aren't the best runners. There are thousands of people who can squat heavier than Mo Farah in the gym but can't run sub 4 min k's let alone sub 3 minute.
Improved strength doesn't equal improved performance , improved SPECIFIC strength equals improved performance. Current core training exercises are a long way away from being anywhere new specific.
Years ago we all thought static stretching was the thing to do before we run whereas now we know its actually detrimental. In a few years time exercises like cruches and plank will be looked upon the same way.
We can either bury our head in the sand and ignore the scientific research and sound arguments that explain why planks and crunches are a waste of time or move forward or change the way we work our core and make it more effective for runners.
Just because Mo did core training doesn't mean it's worth doing. It wasn't the only think Mo did differently to make him the champion he is.
I'll say it again there is NO evidence that planks and crunches improve performance in running and the idea that it would goes against basic biomechanics and physiology.
One of the fundamental rules of exercise is the specific adaptation to imposed demand , which basically says
The benefits of an exercise are limited to the loads used, range of movement, joint angles, body position and speed of the movement.
Planks and crunches use slow movements, whilst lying on the floor not moving arms and legs with very little range of movement.
Running is performed standing up, dynamically, with arms and legs moving in opposite directions .
Nothing like each other hence no benefit.
This is not my view its the view of the American College of Sports Medicine and numerous other researchers.
There are far more effective ways to train the core and I argue that if researchers show that traditional core exercises don't improve performance then they are a complete waste of time.