It was, as ever, a treat to present at the Running Summit in Morristown, NJ, last weekend. The presentations, participants, and facility are all top-notch. (At right is Wendy presenting on running form analysis. If you are in New York City, you should definitely schedule a custom running analysis session with Wendy at NY Custom PT!) I spoke on race plans and execution (the subject of my book Racing Wisely) and led a fun session on core strength. After a day of sitting, I know it felt good! As promised, here are my notes for those of you who attended (and those who are interested).
The alternative title for the presentation was “Beyond Planks and Crunches.” We focused on ways to create and progress core-strength routines for ourselves and our athletes that target the needs of the runner. Specifically, we worked to release the front of the body—an area that grows tight as we spend most of our day sitting—and then to strengthen the back of the body. Without first stretching the front, strengthening the back is ineffective, as you’d be constantly butting up against the limitations of tightness.
To that end, we started with some yoga-derived stretches.
Along with “Christina’s World” and the Tall Mountain Flow listed below, this sequence will appear in Everyday Yoga (preorder your copy today!). It’s also in this short clip:
Read more about this sequence in this post at my Yoga Journal blog.
The work you did in mountain pose applies directly to plank. To make your plank harder:
Locust pose is spinal extension work—and it’s very good at building the strength that helps you maintain good posture as you fatigue on the run.
This is such a doozy—and so important for runners. The work in bridge strengthens the glutes and hamstrings, which power your stride.
This is more spinal extension work. As opposed to locust, in which we articulate the spine into a backbend, bird dog challenges us to hold stable while the arms and legs move contralaterally. This imitates the running stride.
We challenged shoulder stability, the obliques, and the hip rotators, including gluteus medius, in this sequence.
We ran out of time, so we didn’t do the rotation sequence I’d planned. It was boat pose (V sit) with rotation to challenge the obliques more. Definitely add some twisting exercises when you practice at home!
Along with dozens of other short videos and full-length classes with me, this is available to stream at YogaVibes. Use the code sagefreemonth to extend your free trial to a month! This sequence is a nice way to wind-down and target runner’s tight areas: the chest, the deep hip rotators, and the hip flexors.
Finally, here’s a link I mentioned in the Sunday morning session vis-à-vis a discussion on association and dissociation. This study shows that both are valid mental tools that can enhance performance—it depends on the athlete.
Thanks, everyone, for your cheerful attention. I hope to see you next time!
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