Day 20: Arms & Abs!

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It’s finally Friday! Time to work our arms and abs!

The main benefit of core strength for runners is increased stabilization in our torso. Our core muscles – chest, back, abs, and obliques – keep our torso upright when we run, and reduce “wobbling” when moving our arms & legs.

Core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly, with less rocking & thus, less excess energy expended. Core strength also significantly improves balance, meaning that you recover quickly from missteps small & large.

Core strength is especially important for distance runners. Towards the end of long runs or races, when we are extremely fatigued, our form begins to suffer. Poor form not only slows us down, it also opens us up to injuries. If you are familiar with that lower back ache, building up core strength will help to maintain good posture, and reduce the pains that result from poor posture and lots of time on our feet.

we know core strength is important, but what about our arms? The driving forces in running come primarily from the muscles of the lower extremity and core. However, if a runner is weak in their upper body, there is an imbalance of strength, and they won’t be as efficient.

The most important time we need to rely on our arms is towards the end of a race or long run. Our arms account for about two to three percent of the forward velocity. Pumping our arms during those final miles could make the difference between a slow finish and a good race!

Even with all this, most runners still don’t give their arms and abs enough love, so today we are showing them ALL the attention. It won’t take long, but it will be effective.

Let’s get to work Crew!

Day 20 exercises: Arms and Abs 

  • 30 Front and Side Arm Raises
  • 50 Arm Circles (front and back)
  • 50 Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • :60 Plank
  • 30 Oblique Crunches (each side)
  • 30 Ab Sit Ups with Dumbbell Twist
  • 50 Stadning Side Crunches (each side)
  • :60 Plank

Bonus: #SuperPlank – I know we’ve already done a couple planks but hey….they are SO good for us, so let’s push a little bit harder. This will only take 4 minutes but will fire up our arms and our core to finish out a great day with a BANG! 🙂

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Day 20 “how to” videos:

Front and Side Arm Raises: Great strength work to give us power and stability in our arms and shoulders.

Arms Circles (front and back): Go right into these after the front and side arm raises. Your arms will be sore but hold on and push through! Keep those arms nice and tight and keep the circles small and focused.

Tricep Overhead Extensions: The most important arm muscle for runners is our triceps. Our triceps are the muscles that help us push our elbows backwards so we can propel ourselves forward. You can do these sitting or standing, whichever works best for you.

Oblique Crunches: Oblique crunches are a great way to improve your overall core strength and tone up your abdominal muscles with an emphasis on our love handles.

Ab Sit Up Twist with Dumbbell: Adding a twist with a dumbbell will make this exercise a little tougher but it will pay off. Power through it and feel the burn in your abs and obliques!

Standing Side Crunch: This exercise is great for our external obliques and is great for your posture.

Plank: Finish off your day with a strong plank!

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