Carrie Anne Tollefson is an American middle distance runner who was on the U.S. 2004 Summer Olympic team. She says, “Every runner knows a strong core is the key to a speedy run—but we don’t always feel like hitting the mat to work on that six-pack.
“When I was training for the Olympics, I did core work about five days a week. I had to! For me, core was huge so I could race fast. I needed a strong core to hold my form over the long, hard 5K as well as for both strength and speed in my 1,500 meters or mile.
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“Being able to drive my knees up and turn my legs over while keeping my hips underneath me was one of the reasons why I was a successful athlete. It’s no surprise that I worked hard on the track and roads, but not everyone realizes how much time elite athletes spend in the weight room—or on a yoga mat at home.
“I used to perform an 8-minute routine about three times a week. I still do it, but I’ve had to incorporate more pelvic wall strength exercises since having children. Still, I like to switch it up. Maybe I’ll add a medicine ball or partner workout, but I would have to say that Crunches and Back Extensions always seem to find their way into my day.
The video above shows a few of the exercises that helped me keep my form.”
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