Run faster with CXWORX

Mar 31, 2020 | Jenni Ashford

Science and results underpin every program created by the fitness gurus at Les Mills. That is why their group exercise classes are so effective. Stick with them and you will see results. Even if your ultimate goal is improving a different activity, such as golf, tennis or running, the range of Les Mills classes mean you can target working out for gains in cardio, stamina, strength, flexibility or specific muscle groups.

For runners, there are usually two aims; to run faster and/or to run further.

Research has found that Les Mills CXWORX will increase running speed and efficiency while reducing injury risk. The study proves this is due to the three-dimensional This program hones in on the torso and sling muscles that connect your upper body to your lower body. It’s ideal for tightening your tummy and glutes, as well as improving functional strength and assisting in injury prevention.

Members of Exeter Golf and Country Club can use Les Mills On Demand classes, including CXWORX, for free during the COVID-19 situation.



the research

The study measured the effectiveness of Les Mills CXWORX™ program on running performance, particularly in regard to running economy (a measure of how efficient you are as a runner), running speed and symmetry.

The study looked at how runners can improve their performance by focusing on integrated core exercises that target primary muscle groups from hip to shoulder.

Les Mills’ research partner, Associate Professor Jinger Gottschall, carried out the study at Penn State University in 2018. The findings were published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in May 2019.


participant activity

Six participants (4 women and 2 men) did the Les Mills integrated, functional core training program, CXWORX, three times a week for 30 minutes, for six weeks.

The remaining six people maintained their usual, weekly running routine for six weeks

Joint range-of-motion data was collected to assess stride symmetry, heart rate data during an economy treadmill test, as well heart rate data during a 5K run to evaluate performance.


CRITERIA and measurement

Measuring improvements in stride asymmetry required the analysis of each and every one of the participants’ steps at three different treadmill gradients, producing thousands of data points. This process was extremely labour intensive due to the enormous amount of data generated by this type of analysis.

Even though the study only involved 12 participants, the fact that the findings were published in a reputable journal is a very good endorsement and indicator of the quality and integrity of the research.


the results

The study participants who did CXWORX three times per week for six weeks saw:

Running speed increased

Running economy improved

They decreased their five kilometre run times by an average of 66 seconds without a significant difference in mean heart rate

They increased their ability to hold a plank by over 60%

Ankle range-of-motion asymmetry decreased by 46% while running on a level surface


There’s so much research out there that has investigated the effects of having a strong core with improved running performance. What’s different about this study?

Previous research on the effects of improving core strength for running performance has produced inconsistent findings. Unlike previous studies that used an isolated strengthening approach to help improve running performance, this study predominantly included a series of three-dimensional integrated exercises which is seen in our CXWORX program. The faster running speeds and increased economy were likely due to the unique sequence of integrated exercises in CXWORX.

The research establishes the critical three-dimensional core component of running training. Integrated core training is often a missing component of running training but as the study results show, it should be considered an essential part of improving performance and symmetry.


What is asymmetry?

Joint asymmetry has been linked to increased injury risk. As most running injuries are unilateral – it’s thought that reducing these asymmetries can lessen the likelihood of commonly encountered lower limb injuries in runners.


Read about how CXWORX can improve back pain

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