This exercise builds leg strength, stability of the pelvis and torso, and smooth control of your leg swinging forward in gait. There is a natural tendency to rush through the difficult spots in a movement. Working slowly and deliberately with this movement can help you identify and improve on your challenges to efficient running form. The May issue had a side plank variation of this exercise for cycling. Both exercises can be refined for running or cycling simply by changing the pattern of the free-swinging leg to match the desired sport.
- Sit into a squat form, folding back from the hips, knees remaining over feet, with torso and shins forming parallel lines and head erect.
- Shift your weight to one leg while holding the form of the squat.
- Slightly lift the unweighted leg and begin performing a slow and steady running motion with this leg.
- Lightly touch your foot slightly in front of you where you would want to land if running.
- Slide your leg back while your foot brushes the ground, extending fully behind you.
- When your leg is fully extended, push off with your ankle, bend your knee to bring your foot toward your hip, and then swing your leg forward from the hip.
- Repeat 10-20 times, and then switch to the other side.
Optimum results come from holding a smooth motion throughout, so take it slowly and work on cleaning up the uneven spots to refine the efficiency of your running form.
Categories: Core Corner