Popular Science

A six pack won’t make you a better runner, but these deep core exercises might

Your deep core muscles aren't visible, but they could prevent chronic back pain.

woman doing a plank exercise

Doing static exercises like planks helps to strengthen your deep core muscles which researchers found might prevent back pain in runners.

Most new runners assume that the best way to improve is simply to run greater and greater distances. While skills, most coaches and trainers will advise some level of strength training as well. Focusing on your core is a common suggestion. seems to back this up. In the , researchers investigated a symptom that has long mystified runners from novice to elite: A good chunk of runners, 14 percent to be exact, experience chronic lower back pain. The results of the new study seem to suggest that weak deep core muscles might be to blame. When these muscles aren’t strong enough, the study found, muscles on other areas of the torso kick in to keep the runner upright, eventually leading to back pain.

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