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Finding your stride

A question I often get is how does strengthening translate into running. Strength often corrects a form problem

The Fundamental 5 are a series of exercises that break down a runner’s form.  These exercises strengthen a runner’s postural alignment and control – especially when fatigued – throughout the phases of a running gait. The Fundamental 5 is a series of running specific motions/ exercises aimed to challenge your balance and control.  These exercises can be modified and increased in complexity once they are mastered. This as an adjunct, not a substitute, to your regular training, dynamic warm ups, lifting and mobility programs. And is preferably performed prior to running. 

  1. Step-up / Runner’s Pose : Tall Posture, knee drives up high, tighten glute on the stance leg, keep your chest up and forward.  This becomes the starting position for all the rest of the Fundamental 5.

  1. Runners Touch : Start in your pose, reach down and forward until you feel a slight hamstring stretch, keeping back flat, abs engaged.

  1. Heel/Toe Touch : From your pose, partially squat down to tap your heel on the ground in front of you, then up and over to touch the toe on the ground behind you.

  1. Kick and Flick : Starting from the runner’s pose, swing a leg up until you feel a slight hamstring stretch, and staying tall flick the leg behind you.  Arms swing opposite the leg (as they would if you were running).  Keep that stance leg steady!

  1. Runner’s Marching Lunge : Again from runner’s pose, fall forward into a lunge, staying steady in your torso.  Drive up to the march posture in a single clean, fluid knee drive to pause in your runner’s pose on the other leg.

Start with five repetitions of each motion and keep repeating the cycle for a total of 10 minutes. After two weeks , if you feel like you have got it dialed in, then increase the duration from 10 to 15 mins for the remaining two weeks.

While we won’t guarantee it, most people can see clear changes in form and efficiency after one month.  If it’s really hard at first (either because of the duration or control) try doing less repetitions or using a simple stick to support yourself.  If painful, or just plain doesn’t feel right, back off or modify, just be sensible.

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