Flippers and Reverse Flippers
It's time for my second entry in the workout for the week. This week we are going to work on a very important part of a runners body... your core. This workout is for anybody who wants a good workout for their core, but doesn't have a lot of time for working on it.
First will be flippers, to do this, lay on your back with your hands under your hips. Alternate your legs like you are swimming on your back. Do this as fast as you can for 45 seconds for 3 sets, alternating between flippers and reverse flippers. Easy enough right? Ok here's where we really get a good workout... To make this workout very effective, lift up your head and shoulders off the ground as high as you can, the goal is to have only your lower back and hips touching the ground while you do your flippers. This will engage your entire abdominal plate and really hammer on that tough to get to lower abs.
If 45 seconds is too easy for you (I doubt it will be to start) increase by 5 seconds until you hit the point where you can really feel it.
Next we are going to do reverse flippers, you guessed it, reverse flippers are just like regular flippers on your stomach. My track kids like to call these Hasselhoffs (yes, after "The Hoff." The explanation is long and involves motorboats and Spongebob Squarepants, please reply if you'd like more details).
After doing your first set of flippers, flip over to your stomach and put your hands under your hips again, this time we are working a very often neglected part of a runner and triathlete's body, the lower back. Lift your legs and again alternate legs like you are swimming. Lift your head and shoulders as high as you possibly can, the higher the better. Do these for 3 sets of 30 seconds.
You will also feel the reverse flippers in your hamstrings and backside (bonus!).
Flippers and reverse flippers should be done 3 days a week. As you get used to them and start to gain strength in your core, feel free to increase the duration of the exercise by 5 seconds each (usually per week).
Let me know how they work for you, I like to hear how people are able to adapt their workouts to fit their needs. Try it... You'll like it.