Learn to Run week Five: What are the best running exercises for me

Learn to Run week five: Which exercises are best for me?

Wow five weeks in! I was asked a fantastic question at this past class that gave me the idea for this blogpost.  How do I know which are the best running exercises for me? Of course!!!  We’ve created this conditioning class and taught you so many exercises but how do you know which are the best two or three exercises for you…just for you!  In the following words I want to begin to outline the way you choose the best running exercises.  Of course we have given you and gone over many other exercises, but this is the way to start choosing the best…Just wait until next week when we explore this further!

Well first of all, Every single person should be conditioning his or her feet! We are constantly spending our life in shoes disconnecting our feet from the earth and this is causing us to lose the pliability that we need to accept load.  SOOOOO Everyone before you run should do the following foot exercises.

First we spread the toes

Then we ask the toes to talk to each other

Then we lift the three middle toes

Finally we have the big toe splits

Now beside the feet how do I decide which are the best running exercises for me.  Should I do the planks or the squats? Should I work on cadence or mobility?  I only have so much time and I do actually want to run so what are the best running exercises for me…just me?  Well my friends the best way to find the best running exercises for you is to use the assessment tool.  The RUNITY assessment is the best way to assess what conditioning exercises you need.

best running exercises

Deep squat with thoracic extension

The first test is the deep squat with thoracic extension.  This test is figuring out two things.  How much hip mobility do you have, and how much thoracic extension do you have.   These concepts apply to stride length and upright posture in the running gait.  So if you do this test and you can’t get your pelvis below your knees then we need to work on your hip mobility.  Whereas on the other hand if you can get your pelvis below your knees, but your spine curls into a ball like shape then you need exercises that work on thoracic extension.  The videos of both possibilities follow.

 

 

 

So if its improved hip mobility you need.  The accelerated mermaid is for you!

 

If you need thoracic extension then the following exercise is for you!

 

Now the next test is telling us about the lateral stability of your hip socket.  This is the standing single leg squat. You can see in the picture to the right that to perform this assessment you will be standing on one leg and simply bending that knee.  If your knee wavers and falls in towards the center then

best running exercises

single leg squat  

you need hip conditioning exercises, but if your knee stays straight ahead but your torso folds in towards the leg then you need spine stability exercises.  Those videos are below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hip stability

Torso stability

Finally, the last test is looking at hip extension and elastic recoil in the body.  To perform the single knee bend you stand with your feet next to each other and bend one knee keeping your knees lined up you want to do your best to lift your foot past the midway point on the back of your thigh.  This picture of

best running exercises

single leg knee bend

 

this test is below.  Now if you perform it and you can’t keep your knees lined up then hip extension is what you are after, and if your knees are lined up just fine and you can’t lift your heel beyond mid thigh, then its time for you to work on the cadence drills with the metronome.  Check out the following videos for the hip extension exercises, and then in the next week’s blog post we will break down cadence as much as we can!

 

 

 

 

 

Hip Extension

Finally,  This is just the beginning of what you could do.  For more information please visit RUNITY’s website.  Use this blogpost as a beginning to feel your body and allow yourself to decide what you might need.  Next week we will review the assessment and exercises that go with each piece so that you can finish the class with a way to assess yourself and design your own conditioning program!  See everyone next week.

 

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