Many runners think their workout is over after they run, but I feel that is the perfect time strength workouts should begin. From hurdles to medicine ball exercises, this is the time to build strength and protection for your races. Remember that strong muscles do not protect the disks in your back, so be certain to keep your back at neutral during these exercises to avoid lower back pain.
Here is a photo after the Boom Box Mile as I use the hurdles to open up my hips after speed work:
Here is a video showing some of our post running workout:
Have a great time getting stronger as well as quicker!
At the end of 2008, I met with a foot doctor who wanted to immobilize me in a “walking boot” for one month due to my injured Achilles tendon. Not liking that scenario, I searched for a second opinion and that is how I met Juan Ruiz Tagle. Juan, who is now the training consultant at www.OneMileRunner.com, changed my training program and my running style. Functional training and a “stiffer” and more powerful running style has now taken me to the brink of my new event – The New England Marathon….One Mile At A Time.
Take a look at this video showing a few of my running exercises.
I hit the road tomorrow as I drive from Florida to New Hampshire. If all goes well, I should arrive in the New England area on Monday afternoon. My first race is the initial mile of the Boston Marathon on July 1st.
Proper running technique has been discussed and debated for decades. After experiencing Achilles tendon pain and plantar fasciitis pain, I needed to take a closer look at my running style and technique. Thanks to the guidance of my trainer, Juan Ruiz Tagle, at http://backtofunction.blogspot.com/ I have altered my running technique to allow other parts of my body to help take the pounding of my mile running.
Please take a look at this running video as I discuss what I have changed for optimal protection and optimal performance:
I will post my next blog, “Running Exercises,” on Friday evening, just before I take the long drive to New England on Saturday morning the 27th of June.
One of the ways that I used to treat my Achilles tendon injury was visiting Meilus Precision Therapy in Sarasota, FL. I wrote a blog back in January about my initial visit to the Meilus clinic. This entry is a follow-up discussing how I repaired my injury and got back to training.
Dave Wallwork, the clinical director, helped me mend the muscles and tendons in my lower extremities. This revolutionary “robotic arm” is able to go deep in the muscle tissue without pain. The therapy takes shortened, hard muscles and lengthens them.
Here is a photo of Dave Wallwork and I before our last session:
Here is a photo of the robot on my Achilles tendon as I was seeking to break up any adhesions that occurred from my injury:
For better performance and quicker recovery, please visit Dave Wallwork’s website at www.sarasotameilustherapy.com for more information. The following video shows how the robotic arm pressed on my leg and Achilles tendon, but it is also works wonders on the lengthening the muscles around the hips, shoulders, and back.
Next week I will again share one of my new training exercises…until then safe travels.
Planks done properly are a terrific way to strengthen your abs while protecting your lower back. The days of isolating and shortening your ab muscles are history! Your core is for stabilization, not isolation. Just because you feel an isolated burn in your abdomen while doing crunches does not mean that you are strengthening your abs properly. Functional training uses multiple joints and multiple muscle groups. The video below will show you different variations of the plank.
Some people feel that planks are boring, but this is just one of the ways that I strengthen my core while maintaining a neutral posture. By realizing the value of a plank, I think you will find an effective exercise for core development and strength. So walk away from the ab machines and “walk the plank” to core stabilization.
My favorite upper body exercise is the punching matrix. It is a multi-directional, multi-functional exercise. We have rehabilitated shoulders and alleviated pain with this unique exercise. It will be part of my strength training 3 times a week this summer even as I am on the road racing 3 times a week.
Have fun punching your way to power!
The third exercise that I have in my workout regime is the balance reach. Balance reaches are wonderful for mobilizing your joints and stabilizing your muscles. The balance reach is an example of how to pick up something properly while on one leg. When done correctly, the balance reach keeps you back in neutral and avoids back pain.
I have a client who is a professional golfer and we discuss in great length about the problems with back pain on the tour. Golfers have a difficult time with back pain due to rotation on their golf swing or to flexion when picking up the ball or tee. Just watch pro golfers on TV pick up the ball incorrectly each time they put the ball in the hole. This video on how to perform a balance reach while keeping your back in neutral has become an integral part of my pro client’s training.
No matter what sport you play, the balance reach is a great addition to your exercise program.
A great leg workout is a functional squat. In this video, Juan and I demonstrate how to do a proper squat. We will also show you some of the pitfalls of doing a proper squat and how to protect your lower back at all times. I do my squat routine after my lunge matrix. This is part of my warm-up program and strength program. A special thank you to Kevin Freeland at Body Focus Fitness based in Tempe,AZ for providing me a place to train when I am in Arizona and supplying the equipment for these videos. In this video, I use the medicine ball in my power fast squats.
I hope you can add a squat routine to your workouts. This will help you gain speed and power.
How do I begin and end my workouts? I use the lunge matrix. It is a multi- directional exercise that I use for my warm-up, for strengthening, for power, and for my cool down. It is a multi-purpose exercise that strengthens your legs and core, opens up your hips, and protects your back. My trainer, Juan Ruiz-Tagle, and I take you through the lunge matrix in the video below. I look forward to your comments after you have tried this starting routine.
We are 9 weeks away from the New England Marathon…One Mile At A Time beginning on July 1st! We are going to run a new blog every Monday evening until the start of the event. We will be sharing all the parts of my new training program.
My new trainer and www.OneMileRunner.com Consultant, Juan Ruiz-Tagle, explains what I needed to add to my training, how to properly work your core and abs, how to avoid serious back pain and how to workout your arms and legs in muti-directions. I hope you enjoy this eye opening interview and the subsequent videos that follow every week showing some of the foundational moves of the training. Next week I will be posting my new lunge matrix video. I look forward to receiving your comments and feedback.