By Matthew Walsh, PT | Athletic Training, Physical Therapy | December 14, 2016
A runner’s ability to maintain a relaxed posture and fluid running form requires a complex interaction of mileage, intensity, postural awareness, strength, stability, and mobility. Devoting time to training each of these components can be a catalyst to improving running economy, reducing injury risk, and increasing speed.
The Fundamental 5The series of running-specific motions outlined below aims to challenge balance and control. The five exercises focus on building a runner’s postural awareness. Successful runners train this ability to maintain great body shape/postural alignment and control, through all the phases of a running cycle and even when they are fatigued.
Shown in the video below are the most basic exercise forms for the fundamental 5. Once mastered, volume can be added, then load, and finally greater complexity and speed. This is an adjunct, not a substitute, to regular training, dynamic warm-ups, lifting and mobility programs. Make sure patients pay close attention to form as quality is critical to success.
Changes and AdaptionMost patients see clear changes in form and efficiency after one month on this program. If it’s really hard at first, try reducing repetitions or instructing patients to use a stick to assist in balance. Remember to remind patients that if anything is painful, poorly controlled or just plain doesn’t feel right, back off and request modification.