In this video, we talk with international movement coach Carl Paoli, author of the forthcoming book “Freestyle: Maximize Sport and Life Performance With Four Basic Movements,” on the best core exercises you can do to hone and perfect your running form.

So what exactly is core strength and why is it so important for runners to incorporate into their regular training?

1. Why Core Strength?

According to Paoli, the key principle 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!

2. 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. In the video above, Paoli walks us through a few simple steps to get into the Hollow Body and to further challenge it. While it may be simple, it is certainly not easy!

3. How Do I Add This Exercise Into My Weekly Routine?

“You can really add this exercise in whenever you want,” Paoli says of the Hollow Body, “provided you know WHY you’re doing it.”

If you’re going to try this exercise before running, we recommend adding a few 10-20 second bursts to warm up your core and to practice your posture without overly fatiguing yourself. Adding this exercise to your warmup builds awareness to your running form for a better run.

RELATED: 3 Tips For Better Running Form

After running, you can get more aggressive with this exercise. Try adding 3-4 rounds of 30 seconds to complete fatigue (as long as you can go!), which 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.

This is the fourth installment in The Run Experience series. Look for more in the following weeks! In the meantime, check out more videos to help you become a better runner at The Run Experience.


About The Author:

Nate Helming coaches strength and mobility for national and international-level road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes and ultrarunners at San Francisco CrossFit, as well as elite-level amateur runners and triathletes outside the gym. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter and check out his videos on The Run Experience YouTube channel