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Physical therapist at California Pacific Medical Center

Running Drills: Forward Fall into Run

by Jonathan Ide-Don, PT, DPT, OCS

The primary goals for this drill:

  1. Learn how to fall forward while placing your foot underneath your body

  2. Learn how to take short, quick strides

How:

This drill will train your body how to transition from standing still, to leaning forward, to running forward while maintaining short, quick strides. 

Start by standing with both feet on the ground in tall posture with both knees slightly bent.  Pull one heel straight up to the buttock, and balance on one foot with arms in running position.  Shift your weight forward and lean forward gradually.  Once you feel at the edge of your balance, quickly switch your feet by pulling the heel of your other foot straight up to your buttock.  Continue leaning forward as you run, focusing on keeping your strides short and quick with your foot landing softly underneath your hips.

COMMON MISTAKES

  1. Reaching your foot out in front of your body as you fall forward rather than quickly pulling the heel up to your buttock behind you
  2. Landing hard on your heel , rather than softly landing with your foot underneath your hips
  3. Losing your forward lean as you start to run

Running Drills: The Quick Switch

by Jonathan Ide-Don, PT, DPT, OCS

The primary goals of this exercise:

  1. Teach how to lean forward while quickly switching support between feet

  2. Teach how to maintain a tight core and forward lean

How:

Start by standing just further than arms distance away from a wall.  Lean forward and place both hands on the wall.  Keep a straight line from your ear down to your shoulder, to your hip, your knee, and to your midfoot.  Gently bend both knees.  Pull one heel straight up to your buttock.  QUICKLY switch support by pulling your other heel straight up to your buttocks, and letting your first foot fall to the ground relaxed.  Alternate pulling one foot and then the other off of the ground.

Start switching between feet with a short pause between switches to learn the movement.  As you get comfortable with switching, shorten the pause between switches until you are essentially running in place.

This exercise can be performed for time.  Start with 20-30 seconds and gradually increase until you can perform the drill successfully for 60 seconds.

COMMON MISTAKES

  1. Driving knee too far forward in front of the body rather than lifting the foot straight up to the buttock
  2. Flicking foot too far out behind you rather than lifting the foot straight up to the buttock
  3. Rounding at the mid or low back as you lift your foot rather than keeping a straight spine
  4. Stomping the ground loud and hard rather than landing softly and quietly
  5. Jumping up off ground when switching between feet rather than minimizing air time

 

Running Drills: Modified Butt Kicks Moving Forward

by Jonathan Ide-Don, PT, DPT, OCS

The primary goals of this exercise:

  1. Teaching runner how to change speed of running by changing the angle of their forward lean

  2. Combining proper running posture, proper pulling, and a proper forward lean

This drill is a progression from the stationary, modified butt kicks.  This drill is more challenging to the stability of running posture, as it adds one layer of instability:  a forward lean.  Once you have mastered the stationary modified butt kick drill, give this drill a try!

How:

This drill starts by performing stationary modified butt kicks.  Lean forward slightly from the midsection while maintaining proper tall posture and pulling technique.  As you lean forward just a couple of degrees, you will start to move forward.  As you lean forward at a greater angle, you will move forward even faster.

Start with a slight forward lean covering 10 meters distance.  Progress by increasing your angle of forward lean and increasing the distance covered to 20-40 meters at a time.

COMMON MISTAKES

  1. Breaking  at the hips rather than leaning forward as one unit
  2. Leading with your chin rather than leaning forward as one unit
  3. Reaching your foot forward in front of your body rather than keeping your footstrike underneath your hip as you lean forward

Running Drills: Modified Butt Kicks

by Jonathan Ide-Don, PT, DPT, OCS

The primary goals of this exercise:

  1. Reinforce proper running posture dynamically as you switch from one foot to the other

  2. Teach proper pulling technique of the heel straight up to the ischial tuberosity (sit bone)

  3. Improve endurance, strength, and speed of hamstring contraction in the context of running

This exercise is a slight modification of the traditional butt kick exercise.  The primary modification of this exercise is the cue of how the runner pulls the foot up off the ground.  In traditional butt kick exercise, the runner focuses on keeping both thighs vertical, and firing the hamstrings to lift the foot up in an arc behind them to kick their buttocks.  In the modified butt kicker, the runner focuses on firing the hamstring and lifting the heel of the foot straight up in a vertical line to their ischial tuberosity (ie. sit bone).

Notice in the video how the knee comes slightly forward relative to the body, rather than keeping the thigh vertical and the knee pointing straight down at the ground.

How:

Start by standing in tall posture with feet hip width apart, knees soft and pushed out to the side, elbows bent 90 degrees, and eyes straight ahead.  Imagine there is a rubber band connecting from the heel of your foot straight up to your ischial tuberosity (your sit bone).  Fire your hamstring and quickly pull your heel in a straight line vertically up to your sit bone.  Then, fire the hamstring on your other leg to quickly pull your other heel up to your other sit bone.

When you lift your other heel, let your other foot fall passively to the ground and land soft and relaxed on the ground.

Start with a slow rhythm, quickly pulling one heel up, pausing briefly, finding your balance, then quickly lifting your other heel up.  Once you feel comfortable with the quick pulling of the heel, then you can speed up the rhythm.  Eventually the rhythm should match your running rhythm with a quick turnover.  The exercise eventually turns into running in place.

COMMON MISTAKES

  1. Keeping thighs vertical to ground and kicking heel up in an arc behind you
  2. Jumping off the ground when switching feet
  3. Flexing the low back and mid back forward as you pull the heel up
  4. Landing loudly, stomping your foot on the ground when switching feet

Running Drills: Falling Forward

by Jonathan Ide-Don, PT, DPT, OCS

The primary goals of this exercise:

  1. Teach how to maintain proper posture

  2. Teach how to fall forward

Running can be viewed as controlled forward falling.  Maintaining proper posture from head to toe as you fall forward will ensure that you maintain proper alignment of all of your joints as you run.  Proper posture also facilitates proper muscle activation patterns and stability of your spine, which will decrease risk of injury. Leaning forward slightly while running encourages proper alignment and assists in preventing over-striding.

How:

Start by facing a wall, standing arm’s distance away

Key point #1 Find proper posture in the running position. 
Stand tall with your feet hip width apart.  Imagine there is a string pulling up from the top of your head to lengthen your body from head to toe.  Soften both knees while simultaneously pushing knees outward.  Bend both elbows to 90 degrees (right angle) with hands and shoulders relaxed.  Eyes should be focused straight ahead on the wall.

Key point #2:  Pull your heel up to your sit bone. 
Imagine there is a rubber band connecting the heel of your foot to your sit bone, and lift one heel straight up to your buttock.  Hold this position for a few seconds finding your balance.

Key point #3:  Lean forward. 
Lean forward slowly, feeling as you shift the weight from the heel of your foot forward onto the ball of your foot.  Fall forward maintaining tall posture and catch yourself on your hands.  Push yourself back up to the start position.  Fall forward again, maintaining tall posture.

Repeat for 1-2 minutes on each leg

COMMON MISTAKES

  1. Letting your knees dive in toward each other instead of pushing out as you soften your knees
  2. Leading with your head, jutting your chin forward as you fall forward
  3. Bending at the hips instead of keeping tall posture as you fall forward
  4. Letting your back hyperextend as you catch your hands on the wall

News Flash: Class Cancellations

Please note that the following Sports Wellness classes are currently cancelled:

Wednesday November 27:
–  6:00 pm Pilates with Michele D.

Thursday November 28:
–  10:45 am Fit For Life with Serena
–  3:00 Total Body Fitness with Paige

Friday, November 29th:
–  10:00 am Pilates with Michelle

Saturday, November 30th:
–  10:00 am Total Body Fitness with Mike

Wednesday November 27:
–  6:00 pm Pilates with Michele D.

Thursday November 28:
–  10:45 am Fit For Life with Serena
–  3:00 Total Body Fitness with Paige

Friday, November 29th:
–  10:00 am Pilates with Michelle

Saturday, November 30th:
–  10:00 am Total Body Fitness with Mike

Surf Prep – Dynamic Warm Up

by Mitch Arno, PT, DPT, OCS

Week 1: Using a Dynamic Warm Up

Why not start the first week of preparation with what you should do before every surf session in order to optimize performance and reduce risk of injury?  Say hello to the dynamic warm up.

What should a dynamic warm up include?

A dynamic warm up utilizes active movement to increase profusion (blood flow), improve proprioception (the body’s ability to know where it is in space), and optimize neuromuscular input (muscle contraction/relaxation) to the parts of the body you intend to use.

Surfing requires high rotational demand of the shoulders, trunk and hips as well as the ability to adapt to sudden changes in end range position (think of paddling to pop-up).  Prepping the shoulders, trunk, and hips with progressively larger and quicker movement prior to paddling out is essential to an optimal warm up.

Get your body ready for your workout and your surf session today with this neuromuscular boosting, dynamic warm up!

Each exercise should gradually increase in amplitude, speed and intensity over 45 seconds.

Start: stretch knee to chest
Start: stretch knee to chest

End: Actively drive knee towards chest
End: Actively drive knee towards chest

Start:  Hips and knee at 90 deg
Start: Hips and knee at 90 deg

End:  Gradually allow knees to fall closer to the sand
End: Gradually allow knees to fall closer to the sand

Start: Slow reverse lunge with arms up
Start: Slow reverse lunge with arms up

End:  Reverse lunge with trunk rotation
End: Reverse lunge with trunk rotation

Start: Arms to side making a "T"
Start: Arms to side making a “T”

End: Large "windmill" circles
End: Large “windmill” circles

Start:  Reaching arms to side making “T” while expanding the chest.
Start: Reaching arms to side making “T” while expanding the chest.

End:  Reaching arms to front making “O” expanding the shoulder blades
End: Reaching arms to front making “O” expanding the shoulder blades

Start:  Mini Squat Position with slow, mid-range trunk and hip rotation
Start: Mini Squat Position with slow, mid-range trunk and hip rotation

End:  Quick rotations side to side with trunk and hips through full motion
End: Quick rotations side to side with trunk and hips through full motion