Search This Blog

Thursday, December 23, 2010

11. “Core” specifics for Runners & Triathletes

The term “core” has become so ingrained in the psyche of the exercise community as an end, in & of itself, that the implications for the need to stabilize the pelvis as a platform off of which we then drive and elastically release our legs during running, has been somewhat lost. Even this is simplified – the pelvic set & hips are key “rebounders” & the joints need to be positioned so that we can accelerate the foot to the ground with the glutes & quads & then drive & hold to bounce/release to toe off with as little leakage/dissipation as possible.

It is essential that when we do stabilization exercises as runners we see them as improving the “hold” & thus anchor points off which the hip, then knee, then ankle & plantar fascia accelerate & bounce off. So often we wish for things to be black & white & there are some populist models that would have us believe that there is no push in running. Clearly there is; muscle myography has proved this time & again.

A case can then be made for doing the majority of this “core” work while standing or balancing on both & preferably one leg, (& balancing on the mid foot to boot!). Even then there will be a need to graduate to a more plyometric approach where the pelvis is put under pressure with hopping, jumping & bounding & having the stabilizers deal with those drops & torques as a functional conditioning response.

For this reason these exercises should not only be considered as those for our abdominal muscles (obliques, rectus and most importantly transverse abs), but also the back stabilizers – most importantly the quadratus lumborum (QL) and multifidus. Also include hip flexors, glutes, groin and even knee stabilizers. And last but not least, in order to remain “stacked” through the gait cycle our upper back muscles & our thoracic spine stabilizers must be equally conditioned & trained.

Consider also the Spiderman suit that is our fascia – this needs to be released & balanced – no amount of strength or conscious effort will overcome stooped shoulders, a kyphotic (rounded upper) back & lack of extension ability/mobility with our hip flexors. We need this handled so that a lifetime of desk work & poor posture does not hold us back from our most efficient running ability

The more taught the pelvis is held dynamically, the less the loss of elastic energy (dissipation) and the greater the elastic return – so that you can SPRING forward.

Stay stacked, short in all the right places & “bouncy”!

Bobby McGee – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports

No comments:

Post a Comment