Grab your foam roller to add challenging variations to standard exercises.
One upside to social distancing; working out barefoot at home.
Did you know the human foot and ankle has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Feet are the literal foundation for all healthy movement!Continue reading
Plank Wipers are a great plank variation that work your obliques and glutes.
✅ Improved duration off Plank hold
✅ Increased core strength
✅ Engages obliques and glutesContinue reading
Most runners focus on lower-body strength exercises, but we need upper body strength and mobility too!
Prone Snow Angels are versatile, challenging, and can be done anywhere. No special equipment required. The primary focus is the posterior muscles of the shoulder, specifically the mid/lower trapezius and rhomboids.
Lay prone on a mat and tuck the chin. Squeeze the glutes, hamstrings, and calves and engage the core to stabilize the spine. With arms at your sides and palms facing down, retract the shoulder blades to lift the arms off the ground. Slowly abduct the shoulder, attempting to keep arms as far off the floor as possible. As the arms reach the 90* abduction, rotate the palms to face upward. Do NOT shrug the shoulders in an attempt to keep arms off the floor, especially in the “overhead” position.
Progressions: extension of arms at the elbow (wider reach)higher repetitions
Single work leg is vital for every runner’s strength routine.
Why? Running really is a single -eg sport, as only one foot touches the ground at any given time. Single-leg strength becomes even more important when running trails.
We are good at developing the big running muscles – hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and glutes – but neglect the smaller stabilization muscles that keep the hips, knees, and ankles healthy. Runner Touch (beginning version) is a great exercise to start single-leg strength work.Continue reading
It’s no secret that I love body-weight exercises, especially when no special equipment is needed. Don’t be fooled by what appears to be a simple movement.
Targeted Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, core, hip flexor and lower back.
How to Perform a Genie Sit:
- Place a mat on the ground and place knees shoulder-to-hip width apart on it with your feet behind you.
- Cross your arms in front of you so that your hands are on your opposite shoulders. Cross your arms onto opposite shoulders and lift your elbows up to shoulder height.
- Keep your upper body straight and contract your glutes and hamstrings. Slowly lean backwards, bending at the knees.
- Only go back as far as you are comfortable and then using your quad and glute muscles, pull yourself back up.
- Visualize a line that connects the knee, hip, shoulder, and ear to maintain proper upper body form.
- Only lean back as far as proper form can be maintained.
Inhale: Isometric hold of the core and glutes as you lean backward.
Exhale: Lean forward to return to start.
Back to basics: Push-Ups
My military athletes MUST be good at push-ups for fitness tests, and I design their training to include pre-run push-ups and push-up variations in the gym. I’ve been present at many PT tests where some push-ups were not counted because of poor form. I ensure my military athletes perform push-ups with correct form, but also have the strength and endurance to meet minimum standards and beyond.
Say hello to my little friend: Death March for Runners.
How can a small step forward with hip hinge make you want to say swear words?
In Death March for Runners, the goal is to elongate the hamstrings and engage the glutes. This is done by placing the load on the front leg as much as possible and keeping a slight soft bend in the front knee as you push your hips back like you would in any deadlift variation. Essentially Death March for runners is a split stance hinge. You should absolutely feel your glutes, hamstrings and pelvic stabilizers of the lead leg.Continue reading
Simple, yet full of technical details. Welcome to step-ups!
Ideally, the step-up trains the quads, hamstrings, and glutes of the leg on the box (working leg). The working leg performs concentric and eccentric movement, while improving balance.
What often happens? The calf of the foot touching the floor pushes off and the lower back compensates half way through the upward movement. Sure, the working leg does some work, but will not be fully loaded.Continue reading
Lower back pain is a sure sign of a weak core and glutes. Any human – runner or not – can benefit from effective core work.
Pelvic tilt (different video) and pelvic tilt with march are for every body. However, post-partum women can benefit greatly from this exercise, regardless of the presence of diastasis recti. It is important to regain core muscle strength after pregnancy.Continue reading