How to Strength Train Like Gwen Jorgensen

Becoming a successful runner is more than just logging hundreds of miles and eating right. Strength training is an essential part of any runner’s effort to successfully push past speed plateaus and other pesky barriers. For Gwen Jorgensen, it’s even more critical as she makes the leap from Olympic gold medal-winning triathlete to elite marathoner just a few short months after giving birth to her first child.

Luckily, Jorgensen has developed a routine that takes as little as 30 minutes a few times a week, allowing her to squeeze in a short core workout between feeding newborn Stanley, two runs a day and other social and family obligations.

So, if you want to strength train like an Olympian, try out Jorgensen’s simple core workout to get stronger and faster for your next goal race.

Plank Hold

Hold for 15 seconds

Lie on your stomach with toes curled under. Lift yourself into a standard plank position with your shoulders directly above your elbows. Place your hands flat on the ground and your head in a neutral position. Make sure your hips don’t sag and your body creates a straight line from head to feet. Start by holding the plank position for 15 seconds and work up to longer durations as you get stronger. If holding this position is too difficult, start with your knees on the ground instead of rising up onto your feet.

Front Planks with Movement

Three sets of 10 reps

Get into the standard plank position as described in the previous exercise. While holding this position, alternate between lifting one foot, then the other, one arm, then the other. Do this slowly, ensuring you don’t let your hips sag as you move from one limb to the next. Cycling through each limb once counts as one rep.

Side Plank with Leg Lift

Three sets of 10 reps

Lie on your left side with your legs stacked and right hand on your hip. Prop yourself up on your left elbow and lift your hips off the ground, making sure to keep a straight body line from head to toe. Once positioned in side plank, lift your right leg up approximately 30 degrees before slowly moving it back to the starting position. Complete 10 reps before switching to the other side.

Side Planks with Rotation

Three sets of 10 reps

Get into a side plank as described in the previous two exercises. Raise your right hand toward the ceiling. Slowly rotate forward, bringing your torso toward the ground and your arm down and through the space between your body and the ground. Return to the starting position with your hand toward the ceiling. Complete 10 reps before switching to the other side.

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