Best Low Back & Core Exercise for Runners


If you focus on core strength in your abdomen only, you may be neglecting an important area.

When you think about your core, you probably think of the front section. You may not realize the core also includes the sides and the low back.

As a Physical Therapist, I see a lot of runners who struggle with low back weakness.

While strengthening your front section is important, you need to focus on your low back also to run injury-free.

This is one of my favorite exercises for targeting the core and the low back.

Watch the video and give it a try!

How to Do It

Get into a stride position with your right knee bent and your left leg straight behind you.

Take a kettlebell or free weight in your left hand and hold it like a briefcase.

Pitch your chest down a little, hinging from the hip.

Row the weight up and down with your left arm. Then do the other side.

This is a full-body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups. It will activate not only the core and low back, but also the arms, glutes, and upper back.

Avoid These Mistakes

Don’t twist a lot through your trunk. Make sure your shoulders are square, and your upper body is still as your arm rows.

Keep your spine straight as you lean forward. Runners will often round their backs, but we want to have a nice, straight line.

Posture and alignment are very important for this exercise.

Take-Home Message

If you want to run your best in 2022, you need to focus on building core strength through the low back.

Developing that 360° core strength is crucial for fixing imbalances that lead to injuries.

While this rowing exercise is a great start, you will need more exercises if you want to avoid injury all year.

With RunSmart, we work 360° core exercises like this into many of our strength training programs.

Run faster, stronger, and injury-free with RunSmart!

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