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!)