While both men and women are required to have a strong core and hips in order to run well, it is thought to be even more important for female runners. This is due to females generally having wider hips than men, and therefore a wider Q-angle (the angle between the quadriceps muscle and patella tendon).
This wider Q-angle means that women are more likely to suffer from knock-knees and pronated feet. This can be due to women using their quads as a dominant muscle as opposed to relying on their core to stabilise them.
By strengthening your core, I do not mean “get a six pack”. We need to focus on that inner core, this area should be thought of as an entire complex versus a single muscle. The core is what we use to stabilise the upper and lower body. Our inner core is made up the diaphragm, multifidus, internal obliques, transverse abdominis, and pelvic floor.
Some exercises that you can incorporate into 2-3 times to your week are below:
Walking Lunge (focus on glutes and quads)
10 reps: 3 sets
Side Plank (focus on abdominals, obliques, and shoulders)
Hold for 20 - 30 secs each side: 3 sets
Single Leg Glute Bridge (focus on outer hip muscles and glutes)
15 reps each leg: 3 sets
Demos of all the above can be found here.
If the above reps and sets are too challenging, then scale them back by reducing the count until you build strong enough to hold this rep scheme.
If you need an extra challenge then feel free to add some light weights to the lunges, and a twist/rotation into the side plank.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions: