By Elizabeth Towe

In trail running, hip and core stability rule! Whether it is a smooth fire road or technical single-track trail, you need to be able to transfer weight quickly from one leg to the other and hold your body stable. To achieve this stability, the arms and shoulders must remain parallel with the pelvis while the legs and arms counter rotate.

The goal of this exercise is to develop strength and stability in these rotational patterns.


  • Start in a single leg stance, with knee lifted just below the hip, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of the chest; shoulders are relaxed.
  • Rotate the shoulders, spine and ribs towards the lifted knee; let your gaze follow the medicine ball.
  • With the lifted leg, begin to step back into a lunge, simultaneously rotating the torso to the other side.  Keep the spine long and bend slightly forward at the hip joint. Let your gaze continue to follow the medicine ball.
  • Bring the back leg back up while simultaneously rotating the torso towards the lifted knee.
  • Repeat this movement on the same leg 10-15x, and then switch to the other side. Perform 2-3 sets on each leg.

For an increased challenge, increase the weight of the medicine ball or dumbbell.

# # #

Elizabeth Towe is a runner and a cyclist and the owner of Balanced Movement Studio in Carrboro. She graduated from East Carolina with a degree in exercise and sports science and has been personal training for over 20 years. Her ultimate goal for all of her clients is to help them realize and achieve the optimal quality in their life – and to remember to have fun doing it.