“All exercises are not treated equal”—a phrase I commonly tell my patients and clients. In this mangled mess of what is termed the ‘information era’, patients and clients forgo any formal prescription of exercise, desperately grasping to items atop a Google search or highlighted in the latest magazine. Even for those who seek advice, there’s a high probability that the exercises, stretches, and balance exercises received are neither functional nor effective.
“All exercises are not treated equal”
The term “functional strengthening” is 2012 buzz word of the year. Functional strengthening refers to building strength from a specific set of exercises that mimic how the muscle is utilized in the specific activity.
For example, during the gait cycle, the hamstrings primary action is to extend the hip and stabilize the pelvis as your body advances over the foot. This all happens in the closed chain, or when the foot is on the ground; however, many athletes strengthen the hammy’s in the open chain, performing leg curls or other useless non-weight bearing activities.
This peeve’s us a little at RunSmart. We are experts at movement. I mean, really, does the above or below exercise look like running? This is a primary example of open chain vs. closed chain. This exercise is given by clinicians, coaches, and exercise enthusiast alike to ‘strengthen’ the knee [above] and/or hips [below]. Sure, the knee or hip performs this movement, but your foot functions on the ground, not laying down and certainly not sitting.
It’s an odd overlap of disparity and consistency. The majority of easily accessible information is useless, consistently repeated with a new spin to engage the reader. The foundation of functional balance and strength programs is biomechanical know-how. The program should be instituted by a clinician or professional who routinely studies and utilizes the applied forces of running. I think we call them experts? Running is a closed chain activity for the muscles of the foot, ankle, knee, and hip. Your strength, flexibility, and balance program should reflect the closed chain nature of running.
Don’t become entangled in the informational snare of the World Wide Web. We’ve become saturated with poor exercises, stretches, and balance activities, as more individuals slap the ‘functional’ tag to their programs with no discerning knowledge of how or in what capacity the body functions.
Don’t become entangled in the informational snare of the World Wide Web.
Our runners bootcamp is just that—functional. RunSmart has over 30+ years of treating athletes with a deep sense of delicately skeletal, muscular, and neurological systems intertwine. The obvious limitations of our bootcamp program is geograhical. Enter—drumroll— the new RunSmartOnline.com
There is a need for quality and, until you see it, you cannot grasp what it can do for your running. We will be taking a step in 2013 to provide a service unlike any other, a site that will not only show you the how, but the why behind certain movements and their importance. We will pair drills, strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises that are an optimal supplement to any runner. In addition, run specific bootcamps will be at your disposal via tablet, phone, or computer, enabling you to train functionally from anywhere. No more useless plyometric or yoga DVD’s for you! Just run specific FUNCTIONAL training.