New Exercises To Challenge And Strengthen Your Core

If you ask a professional how to become a better runner or how to prevent injuries, they usually will tell you to strengthen your core. As stated in this article from Runkeeper, “having a strong core sets a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body.” So, runners often are advised to do crunches or planks, but last week I learned more challenging core exercises to throw into the mix. 


But first, it’s that day of the week when Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness host the Friday Five 2.0 link up, and it’s that time of the month when Marcia invites us over to come clean with our Runfessions. 

I runfess, that I am grumpy over my first business trip of 2017, which starts today. I will be holed up in a hotel with only the hotel gym for exercise–no Orange Theory Fitness, no CycleBar, no Revolve, no Core Power Yoga. It’s only a week, but it’s a full week–from today through next Thursday. I know I’m whining but … 

I runfess, that I also am worried about losing the grip on my eating that I’ve fought so hard to regain after the holidays. I did great with Laura’s sugar detox, but last week I wasn’t as careful, and this week I’ll be at the mercy of the hotel menu and group take-out orders. I have to remind myself that I have full control over what I put in my mouth and don’t have to reach for chips and candy just because it’s there …

I runfess, that my body probably will benefit from a week of less intense workouts. I haven’t been good at taking rest days lately, and while I plan to start my long days at the hotel gym, I won’t be pushing myself as hard as I would at my studio classes. 

I runfess, that every time I  try a new core exercise, I discover a new weakness! Last week I attended an injury prevention seminar put on by MedStar Sports Medicine in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. Not surprisingly, they spoke a lot about core strength, but they introduced a series of exercises I had not heard of before, based on the bunkie test (which I also had not heard of before–I think “bunkie” refers to the stool used in the exercises). The series has five different poses which each focus on a different line of myofascial tracks.

This one targets/tests the medial line and is the hardest for me: 

strengthen your core with bunkie exercises

I am doing a forearm side plank with my top leg on the stool
and my bottom leg raised so my foot sandwiches the stool.

The MedStar Health physical therapists suggested trying to hold each of the bunkie test moves for 15-30 seconds. That sounds like something to work up to.


I runfess that I got sucked into the rice cauliflower craze when it was a craze–is it still a craze?–and bought a bag when I saw it at Trader Joe’s a few months ago, but didn’t try it until last week.  

riced cauliflower

Truth be told, it tastes like … cauliflower. Which I like. And reminds me of mashed cauliflower. Which I also like. But my husband wouldn’t even try it, because it smells like cauliflower too. 😉

Is there a core exercise you love to hate?

Do you love riced cauliflower?

This entry was posted in Fitness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to New Exercises To Challenge And Strengthen Your Core

  1. Cauliflower rice so good! Sorry you are stuck in a hotel for a week but as you say sometimes being forced to take a rest week is good. It’s hard to me to take rest days as well but we need them right?!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Runfessions January EditionMy Profile

  2. I make taco bowls occasionally & I like to use cauliflower rice in mine (my husband wouldn’t touch it with a 10 ft pole either, but I might just sneak some in sometime . . . but I happen to really like cauliflower. Most veggies, actually.

    I hear you on being stuck and having to eat out. I just get that for one day next week & I don’t want to do it for just one day! It’s not easy to eat healthy when you’re on the road. Not impossible, but not easy.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Laughter is good for the soul: Runfessions January 2017My Profile

  3. I’ve been wanting to try substituting cauliflower for things but never have yet. I went to make cauliflower tacos where you substitute it for ground beef.

    Core strength is Always something I struggle with!

  4. Stephanie says:

    That rices cauliflower looks delicious! I like cauliflower, but I have to admit that I’ve never tried rices cauliflower! I also need to start doing a lot more core work! I really like doing core exercises with a stability ball.

  5. You know what core exercises I hate? Crunches. They do nothing. Once in a while at yoga, they throw them in and I want to protest. What a waste of time. Give me a good long plank, would ya?
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions: JanuaryMy Profile

  6. Marcia says:

    I love cauliflower but I’ve never been able to find that riced cauli at TJs. I make my own though but my hubby’s the same as yours. Won’t go near it. Hope your travel week goes better than expected!
    Marcia recently posted…January RunfessionsMy Profile

  7. Teresa says:

    Okay, so that side plank looks difficult! Actually all side planks are difficult for me so I guess that is a weakness I need to work on!

    I do love cauliflower but not sure if the hubs would like it in “rice” form. I’ll have to see if I can sneak it in. 🙂

    Hope you have a great week and get some good “hotel gym” workouts in!
    Teresa recently posted…January RunfessionsMy Profile

  8. That Bunkie test looks interesting! I love side planking, I think they are the true fat-burners! I’ve been doing the forearm planks forever in the morning, but int he past couple months, I’ve also been doing side planks before bedtime….I can really see and feel a difference in my waist and hips, and the “thigh-gap” region as well LOL
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Time to Runfess…My Profile

  9. Dynise says:

    Core work is so important! I don’t really hate core work I guess because it’s easier for me. I just hate working out the rest of my muscle groups at the gym.

    I love riced cauliflower. And cauliflower in general.

  10. I’ve never heard of the bunkie test but I already know I have a lot of weak spots when it comes to my core, lol! Hopefully you enjoy your work trip despite being away from your favorite classes. And fight that temptation!

  11. Yep definitely little pieces of cauliflower, not rice like, but still a good addition to dishes.
    Abby @BackatSquareZero recently posted…Loving Lately – January 2017My Profile

  12. Rachel says:

    Every time I try a new exercise I discover a new weakness, too. It’s never ending!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge