Tips & Tricks #2 for Running Longer & Stronger

POSTED BY : Nate Helming

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“Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”

Let me show you how to stand for injury free running.

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Are you all posture pro’s at work?

You might not be yet, but after this post you’ll be a little bit closer. Why do we care about posture again? Well, we know want to sit and stand not only in a way that’s good for our spine, but also good for our breathing, our hips, knees, and for this particular post our FEET! That’s right we want to develop something so POWERFUL and UNIVERSAL it will turn us into bullet proof runners who can last for miles without breaking down!

In fact, I just had this phone call with a runner in our 30 Day Challenge. She knew how to stand upright, but there was something missing. She experienced regular foot and achilles problems, regularly used orthotics (but they didn’t seem to help much), AND struggled to stand even on one leg! Since we were on a Skype chat, we went through her standing together:

  1. Start standing tall with your shoes off. 
  2. Think about drawing a straight light from your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Take a few deep breaths. Roll your shoulders a few times and let them settle down and back. 
  3. With your toes pointing straight ahead, screw your feet into the ground. This seems weird at first but screwing your feet into the ground creates a whole heap of hip stability through external rotation in the hip joint. . 
  4. This position not only stabilizes your hips and engages your core, the stability it generates translates all the way down to your knees, shins, and your arches (by picking them off the floor!) for stable, “grounded” , and strong feet. 
  5. Now balance on one leg. Notice it’s much easier and more stable after following these steps!

After practicing a few times, she immediately replied: “Oh man. I thought I knew how to stand, but I guess I didn’t. This will be a real game changer for my running!” 

Standing upright is a good habit and a great place to start. But if you “screw your feet into the ground,” well now you’ve added some serious hip stability into the mix for a much more grounded way of standing.

If you accumulate time here every day, you are slowly building a deep foundation that will stay with you when you need it the most! Every time you catch yourself standing, practice the above sequence! Pretty soon it will feel second nature and become a habit you don’t have to think about anymore.

Still don’t get it? Don’t worry! Post your questions and comments on our Facebook page! Not only will we answer it, but we just might use your question in next week’s Tips & Tricks post!

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“The will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare.”

Why you’re pushups aren’t any better.

 

How’d the daily pushup challenge go? Did you do 5 a day? Did you do more? Did you miss last week’s email? Go and search for it as it’s full of great stuff on how you can get a little bit stronger each and every day…. [Titled: Tips & Tricks for Running Fast, Far & Strong]

Many of you asked why a flipped hand pushup is important. Well the flipped hand pushup makes sure that your shoulders are pulled down and back in a stable externally rotated position. It’s THE shoulder position that allows you to run more upright with a better north-south arm swing and deeper belly breathing mechanics!

Also in short, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to be in an ugly slumped position while performing these style pushups! Which is why we like to flip the hands because the movement becomes the coach!

TIP: for those of you whose wrists hurt, turn your hands out 90 degrees to start and slowly work up to the full 180 degree rotation.

Now one more tip on your pushup and its translation to running. Your body may be in a plank when you start, but we almost always see some cracks occur as soon as you start to move. That’s right. Your hips sag, your chin juts out towards the ground, and almost always the low back starts to arch.

This is the universal position of DEFEAT!

You don’t have to be a pro to read the signs either. As soon as a runner’s head tilts back and sways from side to side with a grimace. As soon as those feet start to shuffle across the ground. As soon as the shoulder start to creep up towards those ears and freeze. We all know you’re done. You’re not running very far very quickly.

A critical component to being a STRONG runner is recognizing these signs and actively combatting them with every opportunity. The pushup is the critical tool to get started! Start in plank with your feet together. Now tighten up everything! That’s right. Not just your abs, but your legs (your quads and hamstrings) and especially your butt! A strong core is not just about crunches but maintaining this connection from tip to tail without seeing any crack.
Now…how many pushups can you do maintaining this position?

If not that many, we can say that you have some work to do 🙂 It also tells us straight up how strong (or not) you really are and how potentially susceptible to injuries you are while running!

So the 5 pushup a day challenge continues! This time, can you make the pushups tighter and more connected? Can you add a little bit of volume without any cracks developing in the foundation?

There you have it. Practice your standing, and practice those pushups. As simple as these two exercises are, by no means are they easy! With a little time, these movements will have a PROFOUND impact on your running mechanics, your understanding of movement, and of course your daily life.

Rock On,
Nate & Craig.

PS: Stuck on something particular with your running? Tell us about it and we’ll solve your problems LIVE…all you have to do (it’s easy) is become a member of our regular LIVE Coaching Calls. Click here and join right now (like this very second), and don’t miss the next call.