Exercise Routines

The 5 Best Exercise Routines

The following training is part of the vital exercise routines that strenghten your core and stability muscles. In this part the focus is on abs, hips, back and shoulders.

Please pay a lot of attention to the ab exercises. The stronger you build this muscle group the better and more efficiently it can assist the breathing processes. This is especially important during fatiguing ultramarathons. Rely on strong stomach muscles and you'll have an easier time out on the course.

These exercises save you quality time because

  • They can be done at home at any time of the day
  • Using your own bodyweight gently strenghtens muscle tissue and tendons
  • This type of exercise allows you to actively engage in the part of your body you're trying to strengthen
  • One set of repetitions is usually enough; 15-20 minutes every day or every other day is better than once a week for an hour
  • When managing a home, family, job and ultrarunning altogether, these exercises allow you to maintain the important overall balance because they only require 20 minutes of your time
  • Practising the exercises 3-4 times a week during your ultrarunning season is an achievable goal
  • Choose to do them 5-6 times during the off-season, i.e. from November until March and then ease off

During the winter and early spring months, the exercise routines remain a crucial part in your weekly ultrarunning schedule. While most of you will progressively build and improve base endurance, the exercises should still be high on your priority list. Optimum results are achieved after 3-6 months.

Therefore it's better to start integrating this type of exercise routine now or continue with your exercise routines respectively.

All the equipment that's needed is an exercise mat and a medicine ball of approximately 6 kgs. Airex pads and mats are recommendable and really good quality.

Abdominal exercises

Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms by your side. Breathe in and while breathing out bring legs up vertically. Push your pelvis slightly upwards. Focus on strengthening your lower abs. Your back should always touch the mat.

Repeat 20-30 times. If you're new to any kind of these exercises, aim to do 10-15 reps for 3-4 weeks. Then increase to 20 reps.

This exercise is similar to the first one. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor and rest your hands underneath the lower back. Bring legs up in the air, breath in and while breathing out, lower legs to 45°. Breathe in and lift pelvis off the floor. You should feel your lower and lateral abdominal muscles.

Repeat 20-30 times.

Lie flat on your mat and pull up the left knee. Keep the right leg straight. Rest your hands behind your head and bring your upper body towards the knee. The right elbow now touches the left knee. Focus on breathing in and out while the motion is not rushed. Hold for one second on each side.

Alternate sides and pull up the right leg while the left elbow touches the knee. Feel the abdominal muscles supporting your ribs and pelvis.

Repeat 30-40 times on both sides.

Lie on your mat and place feet hip-width apart. Put your hands behind the head, lift the shoulder blades. With your right elbow, point towards the left knee, hold for 3 seconds.

Alternate and really take your time doing this exercise. You should feel the muscles on your ribs.

Repeat 20 times.

Sit on your mat and keep legs and back straight. Hold the medicine ball tightly with both hands imagining the number 9 and 3 on a clock. Place the ball behind your back and focus on tightening the pelvis during this exercise.

Rotate your upper body to the left and grab the ball with both hands. Really hold your belly button in and always keep a straight back.

Repeat 20-40 times and change sides.

This exercise routine also srengthens the core, abdomen, lower back and shoulders.

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