Lateral Cross Under Lunges

Instructions

  • Feet together, stand upright at the midpoint of the long edge of a mat
  • Stand on your left leg and drive down into the ball of your foot
  • Start to bend into your left knee as you take your right leg and cross it under and behind
  • Sweep your foot into the cross under lunge (you don’t want to step forward or backward, but rather to stay on the same plane)
  • Actively reach the right foot out to your side and lightly touch the edge of your foot down before returning to standing

Purpose

  • Strength/Loosen/Activate Adductors
  • Dysfunction of the hip abductor can lead to lateral pelvic shift. Your pelvis won’t stabilize properly and you’re going to experiencing a shifting of your hips to the side.
  • To test this quickly, stand in front of a mirror. Come to standing on one leg, and watch your hips. If your pelvis either drops down, or your hips shift out to the side, you’ve probably got issues with your hip abductor muscles.
  • Poor lower limb alignment stemming from the hip abductors can place a large amount of pressure, force, and pain upon the knee.
  • A simple dynamic movement pattern that can translate easily into performance gains.

Tip

Beginner: 1 set of 5 reps (each leg), Use a post/chair to help with balance

Intermediate: 1 set of 10 reps (each leg), Reach your hands out in front of you to help with balance

Advanced: 1 set of 10-15 reps (each leg), put your arms on your waist

Plank Exercise Variations

Instructions

Pick 1-2 variations and do them for 30-60s each

Intermediate:

Alternate Leg Lifts: https://youtu.be/4ipd7IbsKZs?t=102

  • In the Pushup Plank position, raise your left leg about 12-18” off the ground.
  • Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side. Ensure good form by maintaining a braced, neutral spine position and activating the glutes to help lift your leg

Alternate Leg Lifts w/Forearm: https://youtu.be/4ipd7IbsKZs?t=117

  • In the Forearm Plank position, raise your left leg about 12-18” off the ground.
  • Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Ensure good form by maintaining a braced, neutral spine position and activating the glutes to help lift your leg.

Advanced:

Two-point Plank: https://youtu.be/4ipd7IbsKZs?t=131

  • In the Pushup Plank position, raise your left leg off the ground while lifting your right arm at the same time.
  • Your left leg should be about 12-18” off the ground and your right arm should be parallel to the ground.
  • Hold for about 2 seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg and arm.

Two-point Plank Forearm Position: https://youtu.be/4ipd7IbsKZs?t=150

  • In the Forearm Plank position, raise your left leg off the ground while lifting your right arm at the same time.
  • Your left leg should be about 12-18” off the ground and your right arm should be parallel to the ground.
  • Hold for about 2 seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg and arm

Tip

  • Specific planking exercise works on the lower body:
  • Lower Back
  • Hips
  • Glutes

Delay Squats

Instructions

  • 2 set of 4-5 reps
  • Use ~60% of your regular squat weight
  • If not sure, start off with something light and very manageable
  • Make sure you back is straight and not bent
  • Feet underneath the hips
  • Hold position for 1-2 sec then lower from current position every 3-4 sec (about 4-5 reps) until your thighs are close to forming a 45deg angle
  • Explode back to standing position

Purpose

  • Improve eccentric & isometric contraction during gait cycle
  • Stop your body from sinking to the ground every step during your gait cycle (Especially during the late stages of a marathon/endurance race!)
  • Eccentric contraction – Slows you down and stops you from sinking
  • Isometric contraction – Muscles to keep your stable and hold you upright

Depth Jumps (Shock Method)

Instructions

  • 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • DO NOT jump out of the box.
  • Drop from the box with a leading leg. Land with both feet together with minimal knee bend, and leg ready to take on the impact.
  • Jump back up at high as you can with minimal knee bend and raising your hands over your head simultaneously
  • Jump STRAIGHT UP, NO forward movement
  • Always return back to starting position at a controller manner, pause for a a second or two 😉
  • This exercise taxes your CNS (Central Nervous System). Do not perform this more than once a week.

Purpose

  • Improve ankle/knee/hip strength
  • Practice proper running technique
  • Learn to become a ELASTIC runner.
  • During your gait cycle, your legs should be under tension on impact to get maximize elastic energy return on push off.

Tip

Beginner: Find a platform 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) in height

Intermediate: 20-28 inches (51-71 cm) in height

Advanced: up to 36 inches (76-90 cm) in height

PawBack or PullBack

Instructions

  • Do it in front of a mirror to monitor body movement
  • Always return back to starting position at a controller manner, pause for a a second or two 😉

Purpose

  • Practice proper running technique
  • Help improve leg turn over and reduce ground contact time
  • Keep good leg/knee alignment (do it in front of a mirror so you can monitor your form)

Tip

Beginner: Hold on to someone’s shoulder or a chair/pole (lightly) on supported leg for stability. Do the exercise at a controlled manner

Intermediate: Main posture without assistance, do the exercise at moderate speed on pawback

Advanced: Explode on pawback, maintain good posture and balance throughout

Increase resistance and/or move further from support beam as you get more comfortable and used to the movement pattern.

Ankle Jumps

Instructions

(Theory of plyometrics)
  • 1 set of 5-10 reps
  • Feet at shoulder width apart
  • Minimize knee bent, not eliminate (the point is to strengthen the ankles!)
  • Point your toes on each takeoff
  • Do a few warmup jumps to get your ankles warmed up for this plyometric exercises
  • You can see whether you have length strength discrepancy by seeing which side you end up drifting towards at the end of the jumps 😉

Purpose

Pushoff phase during a gait cycle requires strong ankle joint extension, this exercise targets it

Tip

Beginner: Do not attempt to jump as high as possible. Simply work on timing and quick jumps. Focus on the technique

Intermediate: Reduce time on the ground between jumps

Advanced: Do jumps as fast and explosive (high) as possible

Forward Knee Drive

Instructions

  • Do it in front of a mirror to monitor body movement
  • DRIVE ARM (of the pulling leg, elbow @90deg) back when pulling, return back to rest (maintain @90deg elbow) on leg extension
  • PAUSE (1sec) at pull AND smoothly return back to leg extension
  • Maintain upright posture with slight forward lean throughout
  • Hold on to someone’s shoulder or a chair/pole (lightly) on supported leg for stability
  • Maintain proper body & leg alignment THROUGHOUT

Purpose

  • Practice proper running technique w/body alignment in controlled manner
  • Works your Hip Flexors when behind and underneath the body

Tip

Beginner: Do the Exercise at SLOW but SMOOTH speed to get familiar with running movement pattern.

Intermediate: Do the Exercise at MODERATE speed.

Advanced: Practice explosive knee drive.

Increase resistance and/or move further from support beam as you get more comfortable and used to the movement pattern.

Glute Bridges

Instructions

(How to perform basic Glute Bridges)

(How to correct glutei imbalance) (Single leg Glute Bridge)

  • Tighten your core (abs, mid-section) during exercise
  • Maintain a FLAT back, do not slouch
  • Squeeze your glutes on extension for 3-5sec per repetition

Purpose

  • Activate your glutes during the gait cycle.
  • Many runners do not use/underutilize their glutes when they run.

Tip

Beginner: Do it with both feet

Intermediate: Do it a single leg at a time

Advanced: Intermediate + add weights to ankles for increase resistance

If you are feel like your hamstring, calves or lower back is sore from this exercise, you are doing it wrong!

Explosive Heel Raise

Instructions

  • 1 set of 6-10 reps
  • Drop your heels few inches below the ledge of a stable platform
  • Explode upwards, fully extending your heel
  • Apply EVEN pressure to all your metatarsals when you explode, DO NOT try to get extra vertical by leaning to your pinky toes 😉
  • Alwaysreturn back to starting position at a controller manner, pause for a a second or two 😉
  • Practice this exercise using barefoot (without socks) or wear shoes without much cushioning as it can interfere with this exercise

Purpose

  • Practice proper running technique
  • Help improve leg turn over and reduce ground contact time
  • Keep good leg/knee alignment (do it in front of a mirror so you can monitor your form)

Tip

Beginner: Do it with both feet

Intermediate: Do it with one foot individually without weights

Advanced: Weighted Heel Raise

Increase resistance as you get more comfortable and used to the explosive movement pattern.

Leg Crosses Hip Adduction (Inner Leg Muscles in thigh region) with Resistance Band

Instructions

You can also do this with therabands attached to both your ankles

Purpose

Strengthening of your adductors to improve leg/knee stabilization and keep your legs running in midline during your gait cycle

Tip

  • You can also do this while lying flat on your back
  • Keep your legs straight, do not bend knee
  • Do not overexert yourself as you can injured yourself if you add too much resistance
  • Hold stretched position at a split second and squeeze your adductors to get maximum effect

Single Leg Lunges

Instructions

  • Use a waist belt/weightlifting belt to tie it to the Stretch Cords
  • Use a side mirror to monitor posture and maintain straight hind leg
  • Stay upright
  • Do NOT bend your hind leg’s knee
  • Put your hands on your hips for balance
  • Front knee bend should be at 90deg

Purpose

  • Learn to drive forward with hips while running
  • Strength Hip Flexors
  • Improve Stride length

Tip

Beginner: Use something to hold (chair/pole) to help with stabilization

Intermediate: Add weight resistance on both hands

Advanced: Switch legs without going back to starting position but maintain posture and leg stability

Switch legs on alternate reps to do “lunge walk”

Hip Adduction (Outer Leg Muscles in gluteal region) with Resistance Band

Instructions

Attached a theraband with appropriate resistance level to both legs at the ankles instead of what’s shown in the video.

Purpose

Work your hip stabilization in the pelvis and gluteal region

Tip

  • You can also do this while lying flat on your back
  • Do not use too much resistance at first (always start with easy resistance), go easy and gradually increase resistance
  • Do not lean on one side while doing the exercise
  • Smooth and control movement, squeeze your glutes at the end of the movement.

Single Leg Squat

Instructions

Purpose

  • Works your abductors for leg stabilization
  • Keep good leg/knee alignment (do it in front of a mirror so you can monitor your form)

Tip

Beginner: Use something to hold help with stabilization

Intermediate: Use tennis ball on foot for stabilization instead

Advanced: No assistance or add small resistance (2-5 lbs) weight on each hand for added resistance if it becomes too easy.

Stay in the squat position for up to 3 secs for each repetition as it gets easier.