Regardless of how you choose to sweat, core strength is essential. If you're not sure how strong your midsection really is, Pilates teacher Julie Erickson of Endurance Pilates and Yoga has a tried-and-true test.
Known as Boat Pose in yoga, this ab exercise is a perfect indicator of your core power. Julie explains, "If you're able to properly engage the muscles of your core, you should be able to hold it for minutes. . . . I would say for a runner who hasn't been thinking about it constantly, holding it for 30 seconds would be a good test. If they can't hold it for that long, I would say that their core strength needs a little bit of help."
Once you're ready to test yourself, here's how to perform the exercise properly.
- Begin sitting on your mat. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor, balancing on your butt.
- Keep the spine long, and straighten the legs as much as you can without rounding the back.
- Hold for at least 30 seconds, and remember to keep breathing!
Tell me how long you held it in the comments!