There is every reason for endurance athletes to have a strong core. A better foundation allows us to become stronger, faster and less prone to injury. Nathan Steinmetz, Certified Stregnth and Condtioning Specialist , and Performance Coach at East Bank Club in Chicago believes endurance athletes often miss the opportunity to be faster and stronger by spending some time working their core. "Endurance athletes spend so much time in their sport, be it running, swimming or cycling, and can often neglect working the core." Steinmetz also believes that his goal as a coach is to get the most benefit in the least time with the least stress on the body. "Endurance athletes spend hours and hours of volume on their sport. My goal is to target the muscles I need to in the most efficient way possible with the least additional stress on the overused parts of the body."
Nathan's choice for this week is the V-Sit. The v-sit focuses on core stability and good posture with the hips and knees flexed, which runners and triathletes need.
How to do it:
* Sit on the ground with your hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees and heels on the ground
* Pull your toes to your shins
* Open your chest, retract and depress your shoulder blades (pull them back and down)
* Bring your arms to your chest without closing your chest
* Lift your feet off the ground and maintain a neutral spine
Steinmetz suggests holding this position for a duration up to 2 mintues, which will be extremely challenging. He cautions that the goal of the exercise is to maintain the proper position, so that if you find your chest dropping, or your spine rounding, it's time to stop the exercise. "There's no need to reinforce a faulty position," explains Steinmetz, which means you'll likely have to work up to holding this position for a longer duration.
For questions regarding strength or core exercises for endurance athletes, Nathan Steinmetz can be reached through the East Bank Club. http://www.eastbankclub.com