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Saturday, November 19, 2011

RUNNERS...I told you so!!!!
Performance declines without strength training

This blog will be brief: for years I have told runners that just running will NOT improve leg strength. A majority of lower extremity injuries sustained by runners of all levels are caused by a lack of power in the lower extremity. My years of clinical experience backed up by a dearth of research on the topic discovered years ago that runners need to add resistance training and other forms of specialized performance conditioning to prevent such injuries.

Well, again in  the JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING this month researchers at the University of Buffalo and the Universtiy of New Hamshire reiterated that strength training is crucial to prevent decrements in performance especially as we age. However, BSI has long promoted functional training and conditioning as far back as 1986!

Also mentioned in the article is the importance of stretching. We know this and you the runner know this but not all runners stretch let alone stretch properly! The key however, that I mentioned in my book RETURN TO EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE, is frequency!. Runners who suffer plantar fascitis, shin splints, piriformis 'like' syndrome  etc. are performing outdated stretching techniques. Even when shown our methods of proper stretching it is still not done as frequently as we prescribe!

Forming sustainable mobility requires that the tissue 'creeps' to tissue tolerances that can distribute energy when the foot hits the ground. This means that the goal of  stretching is to get the tissue to 'conform' by stretching within functional and biomechanical ranges. Often though, this is not done and injuries happen. Stretching REDUCES the risk and severity of an injury. Deciding to do these stretches AFTER you are hurt will have very little effect. Prevention is key. It's that simple...

Finally, I suggests that if you are a runner of any age:
  • Learn how to do exercises that will improve power
  • Learn how to properly do plyometerics
  • Do stretches frequently NOT when you start feeling pain. Stretching reduces the risk and severity of injury
If you are not a BSI client but want to learn how to stretch and train properly, contact us via and mention this article and receive $35 off a training package of 6 or more 1/2 hour sessions!!

'Take what you can use and let the rest go by'
-Ken kesey

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