These Core Moves For Runners Are Physical-Therapist Approved—Here’s Why I Love Them

Man performs leg lowers with assorted exercise equipment on the floor around him
(Image credit: Pofuduk Images / Getty Images)

I have recently been prioritizing strength work to improve my running, and while I never skip my weekly lower-body session, I confess workouts dedicated to my upper body and core are few and far between.

Despite knowing all the benefits of a strong core, this type of workout is my least favorite, so I’m always on the lookout for short core workouts—15 minutes or less and as few moves as possible.

That’s why I love this workout from physical therapist duo Cate and Davis, otherwise known as ThatPTCouple on TikTok. The routine has just three moves, none of which require any equipment (except maybe an exercise mat for some comfort).

Watch ThatPTCouple’s Core Strengthening Workout


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This video is part of a series of core exercises for runners, each targeting a different part of your core, with this routine zeroing in on your anterior core—the muscles at the front of your midsection.

The movements are straightforward and well-known core exercises, especially the bicycle crunch. I completed the recommended reps for each exercise and then repeated this four times.

I normally avoid leg lowers but, in the name of improved running performance, I pushed through, especially once I heard from Cate about why this kind of core training is so important. “Core strengthening is often an overlooked area of a training program for runners,” she told me. “However, stability through the spine, pelvis, and abdomen is essential for preventing and treating injuries in this population. A core-strengthening program doesn’t need to take a whole lot of time. You just need to be consistent.”

You can find all of ThatPTCouple’s core routines in this TikTok playlist, and Coach has plenty of options too, such as these 15-minute core workouts for runners and these barre exercises. If you can stand marathon core sessions, follow this core workout used by Kenyan marathon runners.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.