12-Minute Total-Body Workout For Runners

Man performs single-leg glute bridge
(Image credit: Future)

Your core is the connection between your lower and upper body, and almost every sport demands a strong midsection to allow for powerful all-body movements. Once you get good at this circuit, you will find that your performance in all physical activities improves as a result (a hard set of abs is just a pleasant side-effect).

How To Do This Workout

  • Perform each exercise in order, taking no rest between exercises.
  • Do either the number of reps stated, or as many reps as you can in the time stated.
  • Once you have completed one full circuit, rest for one minute before starting over again.
  • Do two circuits in total.
  • For the majority of exercises, take up to three seconds for each rep – slow is good for core training.
  • For planks and bridges, aim to keep your body in a straight line – don’t overextend your lower back.

12-Minute Total-Body Workout For Runners

1 Inchworm

Time 30sec

  • Start in a press-up position with your body straight and your hands beneath your shoulders.
  • Walk your feet forward, taking small steps until your body forms an inverted 'V' shape.
  • From the 'V' position, walk your hands forward until you return to the press-up position.
  • Repeat the movement pattern so that you move forwards slowly across the room.
  • Keep your back flat and core braced throughout.

2 Bicycle crunch

Time 30sec

  • Lie on the mat and touch your fingers to your temples.
  • Hold your feet off the floor.
  • Bring one knee back towards your chest and, at the same time, lift the opposite shoulder off the floor and twist your torso so your elbow almost touches your knee.
  • Twist back and forth, pumping your legs and almost touching your elbows to your knees.
  • Use your abs to control the motion.

3 One-leg offset touch

Reps 10 each leg

  • Stand on one leg, with your back upright and toe pointing forward.
  • Lean forward slowly at the hips, keeping your back straight.
  • Bend your knee slightly to maintain balance.
  • Touch the floor to the outside of your foot and return to the start.

4 Dorsal raise with shoulder rotation

Man demonstrates dorsal raise with shoulder rotation

(Image credit: Future)

Reps 10 reps

  • Lie face-down on a mat with your arms out to the sides, palms facing down.
  • Lift your shoulders off the mat.
  • At the same time, twist your palms so your thumbs point to the ceiling, and squeeze your shoulders together.
  • Hold for a second before lowering.

5 Side plank

Reps 10 each side

  • Lie on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder.
  • Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold the position for two to three seconds before lowering.

6 Plank

Time 1min

  • Get into a press-up position, then lower down until your elbows and toes are the only parts of your body touching the floor.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heel.
  • Keep your feet less than shoulder-width apart.
  • Brace your abs throughout the move.
Former Editor Of Men’s Fitness UK

Pete Muir worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Pete is now editor of Cyclist magazine.