One of the many mantras that I recite in working with runners is that “Running is about rhythm and timing.” Along these lines, If there was only one exercise that I could give to a runner following a running related injury (RRI) to safely return them to training, it would most likely be metronome marching. Having spent considerable time practicing this drill, I can say that it is arguably the ultimate form of graded exposure while taking advantage of the use of an external auditory cue (silent in the vid).
The slower beat frequencies effectively serve to mitigate threat and demand the runner to load through each leg while forcing them to audit their motion. As the speed of movement increases so do the coordination requirements. Additionally, as you start to work above 100+ bpm, the runner must also naturally contact the ground with greater force. Lastly, and most importantly, every runner will hit a point at which they invariably start to adopt a float phase, which is what differentiates running from walking. So, have a practice and let me know what you think. Also, take note of the fact that when I go to contact the ground I do so with the forefoot before gently kissing the heel to the floor. This is not because I think forefoot striking is superior, but rather because it automatically reduces one’s step length, which has been shown to yield distinct benefits in addressing common RRIs. In retrospect, this drill blends pain science fundamentals, gait retraining, and cueing with the performance demands of running.
If you are looking to enjoy improved outcomes in working with runners, remember that I will also be launching “The Runner’s Zone on Tues, November 15th. I am determined to make this the premier online learning platform related to running. Click HERE to reserve your spot now!
Two of my favorite drills, which I routinely incorporate into exercise programs for runners, are the hip airplane and step up. I was recently performing these exercises as part of daily training session when I suddenly thought, “Why in the hell am I not combining these two exercises?” Having come to this realization, I naturally recorded it to share it with the online community. I love drills of this nature because they are directly relevant to running while relying on minimal to no equipment yet create a unique challenge. All you need is a stair, stepper, or cinder block and you are in business. Irrespective of where you fall on the running spectrum in terms of age and ability, I’d suggest having a practice. See you on the streets and good luck to all those racing the NYC marathon this upcoming weekend.
I confess to having a fetish with putting my body under load in various ways while syncing it up to kinky music. Kind of weird behavior though we are all adults here ;-). This is a simple drill that I occasionally work into my routine to challenge trunk strength and control while superimposing lower extremity movements. All you need is a flat bench and you are in business! Naturally folks, will tend to overarch their back, which is by no means the devil though something that you should aim to minimize, especially if you do not tolerate spinal extension. If this particular version of the exercise is too difficult, modify the exercise by reducing the excursion of the leg movements or slide up on the bench. As always, wishing you HAPPY, HEALTHY, & STRONG TRAINING!
This is a great drill that builds strength and endurance of the spinal extensors, which are pretty darn important when it comes to running. Furthermore, we can also incorporate a simple marching drill to further challenge trunk control. All you need is a standard bench and you are in business. If you are interested in learning more about how I work a drill of this nature into my overall treatment or coaching programs, check out The Runner’s Zone, which will launch on Nov. 15th, 2016.
Proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT) is a challenging and recalcitrant condition that runners and rehab professionals often encounter. Understanding load management principles and best current practices from a rehab standpoint is essential. This post highlights a select group of videos discussed in the recent work of Tom Goom and colleagues that appeared in JOSPT. By no means should this suffice as a substitute for proper medical care but provides video demonstrations of appropriate exercises to consider when it comes to managing patients during the early phases of PHT. Enjoy and please feel free to share.