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Jay Dicharry, the author of Running Rewired, is board- certified Sports Clinical Specialist. He focuses on running biomechanics. Beyond therapy, he seeks to correct the muscle imbalances that lead many runners to injury.
What really happens when you run
When we run, we are putting the body through a high amount of stress. The forces on the body can exceed 2 1/2 times our body weight. For an overweight runner, this can make running not only difficult but dangerous.
One of the main areas that cause running injuries is a weak core. But the fix is not just about doing crunches or planks. You should look at your core as if were an aluminum can. A can will support a great deal of weight. However, if you make a small dent in the side, and the can collapses. This is why it is critical to ensure the full musculature of the core is strong, balanced, and stable.
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Quads vs Glutes
Your running correlates with the way you move. If you squat and you find that you squat more forward, you're using your quads too much. If you squat more toward the back, then you may be glute dominant. You can do an exercise of squatting down and at the bottom position, oscillate forward and backward to feel how to activate both. The more you can use your glutes (the stronger muscles), the more powerful your running will be.
Muscular endurance, strength, and mass
Most runners don't want to lift weights because they don't want to add too much mass. But there are ways to use weights to improve your running. To improve your running economy, you want to be able to put more force down on the ground in a shorter period of time. That requires heavier loads with squats, deadlifts. Plyometrics and powerlifting are very effective tools to improve your running. You won't gain much weight as you'll still be running and sarcopenia will keep you from putting on too much muscle.
You can learn more about Jay Dicharry and Running Rewired at LINK.