There has been lots of media coverage recently about how to develop six pack abs and how to lose weight fast whenever the new year rolls around. And this gets lumped in with the CORE. But most folks will have broken resolutions just a month later. Strengthening the CORE seems to be all the rage but for good reasons.

As runners and athletes, having a strong CORE is crucial. Beyond the impressive six pack, a solid core is essential for optimal athletic performance. In order to continuously develop and maintain a strong core, I’m personally using the following tools to supplement my running shoes, running form, nutrition, and cross training for competitive track & field events. And most important of all, injury prevention and optimal performance.

What is your CORE?

A strong CORE means you have power in all the muscles from the mid thigh to the lower ribcage, front, sides/hips, and back/lower back of the body. The main role of your CORE is to stabilize your torso during all dynamic movements. If you lack stability from a weak CORE, your muscles won’t fire efficiently. With a strong CORE, runners will have arm and leg movements that are balanced, efficient, and injury-free. You have all your muscles working together as a single unit. A side benefit is that you might have great six pack abs but that is not our primary focus.

We reviewed three ‘runner’ focused programs for the Examiner.com web site:

  1. Trigger Point Therapy SMRT-CORE Program (DVD set) – focus on developing the core with special focus on running
  2. VeloPress Quick Strength for Runners (book) – developing the core and other muscle groups with a special focus on running
  3. Tony Horton P90X3 (DVD set) – developing the whole body for all sports

You can read the full review from the links below:

Trigger Point Therapy SMART-CORE Program DVD review

VeloPress Quick Strength for Runners book review

Tony Horton P90X3 DVD review