6 core strength moves every runner needs to do

Modified bird dog

Start on all fours, with a flat back. Lift your left arm so it’s parallel to the ground. At the same time, lift your right leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground and your shin is perpendicular. Your knee should be bent at 90 degrees and your glutes should be activated. Hold for several seconds, then switch sides. Continue alternating.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

Plank

Lie on your stomach, then prop your weight on your forearms and toes, forming a straight line from head to feet (no arching your back or sticking your bum up in the air). Hold.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Extend your right leg, hold for several seconds, then lower and repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating legs. Make sure that your hips don’t dip and that your backside doesn't sag.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

Side plank

Lie on your left side, then lift your body so your weight is on your left forearm and the side of your left foot, forming a diagonal line from head to feet. Hold. To make it harder, add a lateral leg raise: lift your right leg about 45 degrees, hold for a few seconds, then lower. Repeat five to 10 times. For the second set, switch to your right side.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

Modified bicycle

Lie on your back, legs extended. Raise your left leg and bend it 90 degrees. Raise your right leg two to three inches off the floor. Hold for several seconds, then switch. Continue alternating. Keep your lower back in a neutral position: slip a hand under the small of your back; your back should not press into the floor or lift up off your hand.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

Supine leg lift

Lie on your back with your weight on your elbows and heels. Lift your hips and maintain a straight line from your toes to your shoulders (don’t forget to activate your glutes and your core). Now lift one leg about 20cm off the ground, hold for several seconds, then switch to the opposite leg. Continue alternating.

Photo by Mitch Mandel

If you're training for a marathon or half marathon, you don't have time for injury - that means you need to protect against it from the very start. Jason Fitzgerald, founder of online coaching service Strength Running, has created this workout to do just that. These moves work your abs as well as your hips, glutes, lower back and hamstrings – all the muscles that help you maintain proper running form even when you’re fatigued. ‘I always seem to get hurt when I get lazy and stop doing this routine consistently,’ says Fitzgerald. Do each exercise for 45 seconds. Go through all the moves twice; it will take about nine minutes. After a few weeks, increase to one minute for each exercise.