Posture and stability

IMG 4022 225x300 Posture and stability

That arch in my back? Not doing my glutes any favors!

I am spending an inordinate amount of time doing PT these days–easily an hour each day. I’ll admit that at least once or twice each week I have a meltdown and think about chucking it all and giving up. It’s depressing and tedious and it requires an extra early wake up time each day in order to fit it in. But when you get down to it, I know I can’t live without running and so I put my head down, day after day, and get after it.

Or perhaps, my head isn’t down, but up, lifted from the crown. When you work with a great PT like mine–one who is a stickler for details–you learn that how you do or don’t perform your exercises really matters. As does how you carry your body when you run. We all hear a ton about having glute and core strength and there’s no question that’s important. But so too is being able to engage those muscles and provide a stable base for your body. I’ve always had good core/glute strength but have always struggled with engaging both, something that might sound pretty familiar to many of you who have dealt with injuries.

So when I am doing my PT these days, I am not just going through the motions–I am thinking about my posture, how my foot is positioned, and how stable I can be through the moves. I’m thinking about removing the arch from my back because it prevents my glutes from firing. I am lifting from the crown of my head and gazing ahead, not down. I am doing the same as I move throughout my day because muscle memory is what I’m after. We all have movement patterns to which our bodies have become adapted. The wrong ones combined with the impact of running, mile after mile, year after year, add up.

It’s not easy to teach an old dog new tricks and truth be told, I’d love to just run and not have to think about my posture or go through all this inconvenient PT. I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be bothering if I wasn’t such a train wreck. But maybe had I established some of this years ago I wouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines now. Something for everyone to think about.

So–now that you know my not-so-favorite exercises, I want to know yours. What moves do you hate but do religiously to help your running?

I asked a few fellow running/fitness bloggers the same and this is what they had to say:

Lindsay from Cotter Crunch: Bridges, pistons, and band work

Angela from Happy Fit Mama: Lunges of all kinds and lower body exercises with resistance bands (hmm…seeing a theme here with the bands!)

Christine from Love, Life, Surf: Clamb shells and lateral band walks (an ITB friend!)

Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddies: Leg bridges and squat jumps.

Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice: Sidesteps with resistance bands (there they are again!)

Laura from Mommy Run Fast: Planks (I love them–sorry Laura!)

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Comments

  1. I’m happy you are working on your PT, meltdowns and all. I don’t hate these but I find that I have to make time every week to work on stretching. Doing that hour long P90X Stretch dvd every week has been a life saver on my joints particularly my knees.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..Graduation – The SpinMy Profile

  2. I see a trend here…

    When I first started PT last fall, she had me doing certain exercises 3 times a day. Of course, they were all band exercises that I hated! But it pays off so I shouldn’t complain.

    and I’m with you. I love planks!

    Thanks for including me!
    Angela @ happy fit mama recently posted..What a Nutrition Coach Eats Before A Run {Guest Post}My Profile

  3. Clams! I’ve been doing them twice a day for the last month, and last week at a running workshop I noticed a huge difference in my single leg stability!
    Hope all your PT is going well. I’m working on my anterior pelvic tilt too – it’s really hard after half a lifetime of slacking!
    Sherry recently posted..Wanted: A New ITBMy Profile

  4. It would be awesome to be able to just run!
    jill conyers recently posted..B.Y.O.F. Bring Your Own FoodMy Profile

  5. I hate (absolutely hate) doing squats.
    Hollie recently posted..Another Shoe to the RotationMy Profile

  6. Anything with bands and squats…ugh!
    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen @karenlovestorun recently posted..Map Out the Road AheadMy Profile

  7. Ugh, I go though phases where I’m doing really good incorporating all the exercises I should be doing. But it’s hard to fit them all in … until I feel that injury starting to nag again. I am a big fan of the sidesteps with bands and monster walks. I do cat/cow a lot for my lower back. Lately half of my runs are spent trying to engage glutes then thinking about whether or not I’m twisting my core when I run.

  8. Lunges, push-ups, planks, and burpees are all exercises I love to hate! Ugh. Keep up the awesome work with your PT. I know it’s tedious (I spent years doing PT for my shoulder), but the payoff is huge! Your muscles will remember all of the work you’re putting in now and your body will thank you in the long run.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Training for a Goal Race: A Guest Post by Jill ConyersMy Profile

  9. really truly sadly I MIGHT be a far better runner if I FOAM ROLLER MORE!!!!

    ((owie))
    Carla recently posted..Blessings of a shattered phone.My Profile

  10. uhh i cringe at all these, but it’s kind of what we need to keep accountable, yes? misery loves company! haha
    lindsay recently posted..Race Week Triathlon Tips and Repeating our ChancesMy Profile

  11. It’s often the exercises we hate the most that we need the most :). I also love planks!
    Susan recently posted..I was nominated for a Liebster Award!?!?!My Profile

  12. I keep hearing the same thing from my trainer: I need to get my glutes to fire and work on my core. She’s a corrective exercise specialist; makes me do all of the above for homework. Since she works at a CF box, I do a lot of heavy lifting in the form of deadlifts, squats (in several different modes), and lunges. Interestingly, when I power up a hill, I do feel those glutes now!

    I’ll be interested to see how this all works when I go back to running after my foot heals! Like you, I ask myself if it is all worth it. But yes, I need my running!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Running vs. Cycling and other odd thoughtsMy Profile

  13. Lots of one-legged drills just kill me. So many tiny, tedious movements!
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..Happy Memorial Day!My Profile

  14. Keep it up with the PT! It’ll all be worth it when you can run injury-free
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Weekly Chase 5/27My Profile

  15. I often worry that I am not doing core work correctly. It sounds like your PT really knows his stuff. Stick with it and you will see great results!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted..Running Makes Everything Better (Last Week’s Workouts)My Profile

  16. I know I need to work on my form….I often cringe when I see race photos! Really strength training in general is something I don’t enjoy and I would so much rather skip it. But I do think it is important to help prevent injuries. Lunges are probably my least favorite though :)
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..Looking aheadMy Profile

  17. YESSSSS I am doing a lot of PT too to try and stay healthy…oddly my IT is flaring up like crazy for no good reason. I’m doing some movement analysis soon and hope to figure out what I”m doing.

    Stronger and stronger everyday << my fav mantra, you can borrow it :)
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..Sports nutrition should we stop talking calories?My Profile

  18. Blows my mind how many of us mentioned those dang resistance bands! But then again I should not surprised. You are such a trooper to stick with your PT so diligently but as you know, it will pay off in pain-free miles, so well worth it!
    Marcia recently posted..Race Report: Soldier Field 10 MileMy Profile

  19. My floor sweepers and supermans for my core . . . . . have helped so much with my recovery in long races. Lower back and lower abs used to be the sorest part of my body after a race
    Jennifer F recently posted..Blueberry Froyo + More Frozen Desserts for Fit GirlsMy Profile

  20. My PT told me to do leg raises and clam shells to strengthen my hips after dealing with multiple foot injuries this spring. I’m lucky if I do them once a week–I find them extremely tedious! I’m impressed with your dedication!
    Leah @ Running with the Hayneses recently posted..Memorial Day Weekend in MaineMy Profile

  21. It’s amazing how much form matters, especially as one gets older – I’m sorry I didn’t know it much earlier.
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Midweek Motivation: ProcrastinationMy Profile

  22. Keep it up- you know the rewards way exceed the work! That’s awesome you found such a great PT, and I bet he loves having a patient who puts in the effort.
    And thank you for this- I do all the work, but sometimes I just go through the motions. I need to get everything firing!
    I hate Janes but do them to help; actually I have a long laundry list!
    Abby recently posted..Long weekend & more mountain bikingMy Profile

  23. Posture is so important and something I am always working on! I say that as I am slouched over in my computer chair.
    An exercise I hate… anything with bands but I know i need to make my knee super strong!
    Taylor @ LiftingRevolution.com recently posted..Making News: If Kashi Is Great, Why Is Kellogg Changing Labeling? And More!My Profile

  24. ugh I am sorry you are still dealing with recovery. I haven’t commented in a while but just want to let you know you are still on of my go to reads! Keep it up. Your commitment is speaks volumes to your character. All the best!

  25. Interesting how many of the ladies you asked hate band work – I sort of like using resistance bands!!
    Sorry that you are still having issues but so happy that you have such a great PT!!!
    Kim recently posted..Sometimes Sore Is Good…My Profile

  26. I hate doing any kind of strength work but as I get older the need to do it becomes greater so I just do it. Probably not as much as I should but I figure some is better than none at all.
    Char recently posted..PricelessMy Profile

  27. It isn’t the PT or exercises that bother me, it is going all the way through the end of PT (you know the stuff you need to keep doing, once you feel that you are feeling good enough to run). That is the part of injury rehab that I typically skip and it is one of the most important parts, because your body might be feeling decent, but it is still not fully healed and back up to strength.

    That is when we should be lazer focused on doing things right, but all too often, at least I for me, I tend to skip or trivialize the importance of those weeks when I am feeling better.

    Keep plugging away at the rehab and make sure things are healed, in balance and stronger than they were before your injury. In other words do as I say, not as I typically do – although I am trying harder.
    Harold recently posted..My Rehab RoutineMy Profile

  28. Looking down still works for me. If I look up and ahead, it draws my head up and out as well, and messes up my posture. Perhaps different physical cues work for different people.

  29. I join the list of those who love to hate the resistance band work – tortuous but oh so necessary!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Almost Wordless Wednesday – Cruise EditionMy Profile

  30. I want to love planks… and I do them anyway, I just get bored with poses I have to hold. I’d much rather be doing mountain climbers or push ups from plank position. :-)
    Great point about posture and thinking about engaging key muscle groups… I know I have some weaknesses and imbalances, and I need to pay attention to those things!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Pilates for Runners: 6 Exercises to do at homeMy Profile

  31. Planks and push-ups are my only consistent core/strength work but I know I could use more leg strength as well as core. Definitely something for every runner to think about. Thinking about my form tends to drive me crazy so limit it to strides at the end of the run. Great topic :)
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted..Maple Mustard Chicken with Roasted Butternut Plus 3 Favorite CarbsMy Profile

  32. Well, I don’t do things for running since I am not a racer & run for cardio only but I do a lot of strength training & stretching & rolling…. love/hate relationship with many but I love the results!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Do You Juice?My Profile

  33. I’ve had similar revelations about my running form: arched back, leaning back etc. It really is about getting everything firing at the right time and in balance. Those imbalances are the causes of injury. I find that my barre class is my favorite “move” right now. We do a lot of core and glute work and the instructor is a stickler for good posture, so she comes around and makes small adjustments as we are working and that cues my mind to fire muscles that are lagging behind. I also love plank twists. Clamshells and side-lying leg raises, but these are the ones I have the most difficulty with. Even though I’m on my side, I still tend to arch my back. It takes so much concentration for me to perform those. Keep at it and don’t be discouraged. You will be a much stronger runner when you return!
    Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..Every Run Has A Purpose: Run the Run You’re InMy Profile

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    casino online recently posted..casino onlineMy Profile

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  1. […] I have been thinking a lot about two posts I read yesterday. The first was by Miss Zippy…about doing core work correctly rather than reinforcing bad patterns. It’s difficult to know if […]

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