The Cannon Core Workout for Runners: Dynamic, Specific Core Strength

Looking for a core workout for runners? I’m thrilled to release the Cannon Core Workout, designed just for endurance runners!

Cannon Core Workout for Runners

Jason demonstrating the Boat exercise included in Cannon Core

There’s a good reason why core workouts for runners have become so popular over the last few years. Actually, there are quite a few reasons.

Training your core will deliver a variety of benefits:

  • Improved running economy, by delaying fatigue late in a race or long run
  • Increased strength of the core region, including the hamstrings, hips, glute muscles, lower back, and abdominals
  • Prevention of running injuries, by increasing your ability to withstand the impact forces of running
  • Give you shredded six-pack abs!!!

Ok, that six-pack promise isn’t really true. Getting ripped abs is mostly genetic and depends more on BMI and diet than anything else…

But still, core workouts are a vital part of any runners’ training program.

That’s because all movement originates from the core. If you want to improve your mobility (the ability to move well), it’s critical to start any movement from a position of strength.

Your core is like a platform where all other movement starts from. The more postural stability you have, the better you’ll move.

And no matter what type of runner you are, you’ll benefit from core training:

  • Beginners need even more strength training to prevent injury
  • Older runners need to prevent muscle loss
  • Those who don’t run races still need to stay healthy
  • Frequent racers (even virtual races) need to mitigate the higher intensity

Clearly, practically every runner will benefit from a stronger core.

So I’m thrilled to announce the Cannon Core Workout for Runners, a dynamic, runner-specific, leveled core session that will help you build core strength, improve efficiency, and prevent running injuries.

And it’s perfect for beginners or even advanced runners.

What Makes the Cannon Core Workout Different?

Core Training for Endurance Runners

Cannon is a different type of core workout than other routines you might find elsewhere for three important reasons.

1. Cannon Core is Runner-Specific

Many other core workouts aren’t actually designed for runners. You’ll see more metabolic or aerobic exercises (“heavy breathing” exercises), a more traditional focus on just the ab muscles, and no balance with the posterior chain.

But not Cannon. I’ve built this routine to be more comprehensive with focus on the chest, glutes, upper back, lower back, and transverse abdominals.

It also is balanced and includes exercises that strengthen the glutes and lower back. These are not typically considered “core” muscles but they do complement them and help us be more balanced athletes.

2. Cannon Core is Dynamic

Many core workouts only include exercises like planks, side planks, bridges, and reverse planks. These are great exercises – but they’re static. They don’t include any movement.

Cannon has a variety of exercises that have you move in a variety of planes of motion. You’ll rotate, cross your midline, and work on single-leg strength.

There’s just no substitute for building athleticism than dynamic movements.

3. Cannon Core is Leveled

Are you a beginner? Or a veteran with years of running and weightlifting experience? Either way, Cannon Core is for you!

That’s because Cannon is a leveled core workout for runners. It includes 2-3 levels for each exercise, allowing you to start where you’re comfortable and move up when you’re ready.

But that’s not all. Not only is each exercise leveled, you can also:

  • Complete 1-3 sets of the core workout depending on how much time you have and your ability
  • Perform each exercise for as little as 10-20 seconds or as long as a full minute

More flexibility allows you to get more out of the routine. Start at a beginner level and you’ll be completing Cannon Core a year from now at an advanced level!

Cannon Core Workout for Runners

Now let’s see what exercises are included in this core workout!

Watch a video of the Cannon Core Workout below or get the photo guide here:

The beauty of this core workout for runners is that it can be shortened if you’re running out of time. Just complete each exercise for about 30-45 seconds and the entire routine will be finished in about 5 minutes.

The exercises in the Cannon Core Workout include:

Dynamic Plank

In a prone position, prop your weight on your hands and toes. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet and brace your abs to maintain a neutral position. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

  • Level 1: no movement
  • Level 2: 10-20 shoulder taps
  • Level 3: 10-20 pushups with shoulder taps

Glute Bridge

Lay on your back with knees bent and feet placed flat on the ground. Engage your core and lift to create a diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

  • Level 1: hold static position
  • Level 2: 10-20 hip thrusts
  • Level 3: 10-20 single leg hip thrusts

Plank Row

From a plank position, shift your weight slightly to your right arm and lift your left to chest level. Repeat with the opposite side. Continue the exercise for 30-60 seconds.

  • Level 1: no weight
  • Level 2: use a 5-30 lb (2-15 kg) weight

Windshield Wiper

Lay on your back with legs up and arms spread out for balance. Rotate your legs towards the ground to your right side, keeping the core engaged the entire time. Return your legs to the starting position and repeat on the left side. Repeat for 6-12 reps.

  • Level 1: knees bent
  • Level 2: knees straight


Lay on your belly with legs straight behind you and arms bent at 90 degrees. Engage your core and lift arms, chest, and legs off the ground while contracting the glutes. Repeat for 10-20 reps.

  • Level 1: no hold at the top
  • Level 2: hold for 1-2 seconds at the top


Sit on the ground with legs lifted diagonally. Keep a neutral spine and arms parallel to the ground.

  • Level 1: hold the position for 30-60 seconds
  • Level 2: 5-20 recline reps

Download a photo guide here that summarizes the Cannon Core Workout – and also so you don’t have to watch the video so many times.

Q&A About the Cannon Core Workout for Runners

plank core exercise

It’s always good to understand every routine before using it in the “sandwich method” and adding it to your training. So let’s answer any questions you might have about Cannon Core.

How Often Should I Do Cannon?

Cannon is a comprehensive core workout for runners that can be done 1-3 times per week. But it’s also important to include a variety of other routines like:

A variety of routines throughout the week will ensure you’re getting strong in a robust, comprehensive way. You won’t be unintentionally neglecting certain muscle groups and will become a stronger, more athletic runner.

Is This Routine Best Done Before or After Running?

Cannon Core is best reserved for after running. Use it as a cool-down within a half hour after you’ve finished a run.

We’re runners, which means that we always have to prioritize our sport-specific exercise (which is running). That’s a fancy way of saying that we should run first and then do strength training second.

How Much Rest Between Sets and Reps?

The Cannon Core Workout is like a circuit so it’s best done without much rest in between exercises. Just take a breath or two and then transition to the next exercise. There’s no need to make a formal rest interval suggestion other than about 5-10 seconds.

But the rest interval between sets is different. You can take about 1-2 minutes between each set to make sure you’re ready to complete the next set. Don’t let yourself get “cool” by waiting too long; a few minutes is plenty of recovery.

What if Something Hurts?

It’s never a good idea to work through pain so if any exercise in this core workout causes you sharp, stabbing, or intense pain, then you should stop the exercise immediately.

Just skip any exercise that causes pain and move to the next. You could find a substitute exercise that targets a similar muscle group or movement or you could simply skip the painful exercise and move on.

Download the Photo Guide to Cannon

Many runners lack the strength that’s needed to handle fast workouts, long runs, and high mileage. Core workouts for runners are one piece of the strength puzzle to help you become a stronger, more athletic, faster, and injury-resistant runner.

Sign up here to receive the photo guide to Cannon Core.

It will give you a text description of each exercise, recommended reps for each level, the order of exercises, and photos to guide you (so you don’t have to watch the video every time you complete the routine).

I’ll also send you:

  • Our complementary injury prevention series to help you stay healthy and do more of what you love (running)
  • Case studies on runners just like you who’ve gotten stronger, beaten injuries, and improved their racing
  • More examples of core workouts for runners
  • Training mistakes that lead to repetitive stress injuries so you know what to avoid
  • A lot more…

Core strength demands consistency so get started today and stick to the plan.

Get the photo guide and let’s get to work.

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