Archive for the ‘running mechanics’ Tag

To improve your running form, first address your everyday posture

Many people come to me and say things like, “I have tight quads,” or shortened hamstrings or a tight piriformis. Then they ask what they should do to correct it. They often expect me to show them a stretch or a compensatory strengthening exercise and are often surprised at my response.

Rather than addressing the isolated muscle, it is important to follow with another question: “Why?” Why is the muscle tight, what is the source of the tightness? People are not generally born with one muscle or muscle group atypically tight, rather, it is likely that the way that they are moving is contributing to the tightness. The true origin often has little or even nothing to do with their running, though it likely affects their runs.

For example, if a person sits most of the day in a slumped posture, their hamstring muscles may become tight. Then, when they go out for their weekend run, the tight hamstrings have an effect on their running form. Further, if they attempt to run with proper form, they may be unable to because of the tight hamstrings.

This is why teaching participants how to balance their postures when they stand, sit, walk, move – even sleep – is a part of every Long May U Run clinic. The body that we run in is the same body we live in when not running. And what we do when we’re not running must affect our runs.

So, the next time you hear someone saying something like, “Running injuries are due to the prevalence of tight iliopsoas muscles,” remember to ask the follow-up question – “Why?” Why do so many people have tight iliopsoas muscles? The answer to the second question leads to the solution that will help your running. Chances are that the source is a daily posture that is out of balance.

Then, learn to balance your posture in your daily activities and to run with balanced running form so that you can enjoy a lifetime of running.

And please continue to stop by the Long May U Run website and Facebook page for continued information on running form and future events.

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Rocker Shoes

So, everyone keeps asking me what I think about the latest craze in shoes, rocker shoes.

Frankly, I can hardly believe that anyone who knows me would ask, but I try to be polite nonetheless. – smile –

Everything that I do is at a root cause level. If your hip hurts when you run, I would look for the cause of the pain. Not in terms of what happened to it, but what caused it, how it happened.

So, when someone asks me if rocker shoes will help them with a problem they are having I would ask the question, “what is the problem that you are trying to solve?” If we are out of shape or our back hurts, is it because of a lack of instability at the base of our feet? If so, rocker shoes would be great.

However, rocker shoes are just another gizmo that detracts from the main issue which is generally imbalance in mechanics.

It all comes back to form. That’s not a sexy answer and it doesn’t cry out for a $99.00 product to solve it, but it is also the simple truth.

When you sit, stand, run and move in the way that your body is designed, you get to do it more and you get to do it without pain and injury. And putting rockers on the bottom of your feet will never replace good mechanics.

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