Every day I find myself working with injured runners in an effort to return them to a float phase. During my treatment sessions, I inevitably sound like a broken record. Below is a list of the things I commonly find myself saying to clients seeking my services. Drum roll please....
1. Don't worry, you are just suffering from a simple case of RSS..."Runner's Stupidity Syndrome."
2. Believe it or not, running is a skill that needs to be learned.
3. Novice runners are more fragile.
4. Stiffness is your friend and enemy.
5. Eccentric & concentric actions work in a complimentary manner.
6. Forefoot or reafoot strike pattern isn't much of a concern to me provided that you don't overstride.
7. You are only as good as your last injury and the extent that you rehabbed it.
8. Expect strike asymmetry with track runners.
9. Gluteus medius timing is more important than strength when it comes to running.
10. If you have phenomenal ROM you better have phenomenal strength and control.
This video demonstrates a slow motion thigh high marching drill with an ankle weight positioned on my head. Not only does the ankle weight provide the performer with feedback regarding their postural stability in single leg stance but it's also a quick way to find out if you've mastered the drill. No need to use anything more than a 3-5lb ankle weight. If you have more hair than I do, consider using a hat for increased friction to prevent the weight from falling off. Wishing you happy, healthy, and mindful training.
This is an exercise that I often prescribe to runners during the early stages of the rehabilitation process once they are able to tolerate weight bearing through the involved region. Not only does this drill challenge the performer to maintain single leg balance in a wobble free manner, but it also starts to load the quadriceps eccentrically through a controlled range while progressing the leg over the foot (dorsiflexion). Care should be taken to assume an upright position while synchronizing the opposite arm and leg and avoiding gripping with the toes. I typically have folks perform 4, 15yd passes on firm level ground starting unshod (barefoot) before completing the exercises with shoes.
The step up is a great drill for runners and triathletes and is a staple in nearly every program I write for athletes. Step ups, however, are often performed with less than ideal form even among world class athletes. To eliminate the use of momentum with this exercise, I strongly encourage the performer to initially break the exercise down into parts as seen in this video. By doing so, one must deemphasize the use of momentum. Make sure to synchronize the arms and legs while assuming a balanced upright posture while avoiding toe gripping. Once you master this baseline version of the exercise, feel free to incorporate 3-5lb ankle weights and dumbbells. I typically have athletes start with a 6" step and increase it from there. Invariably you will need to use some momentum with increasing step heights (esp above 12-14").
E-BOOK for RUNNERS
MIKE REINOLD & ERIC CRESSEY'S FUNCTIONAL STABILITY PART 4