Hack Your Fitness: Lumo Run Helps Improve Your Running Form And Push Harder

Article originally posted on Forbes.com. Read original here.


The funny thing about runners is that we all think we have fine form until we snap an IT band or strain a tendon. And even then, we blame it on “going too fast” or “pushing too hard” rather than on poor run mechanics.

6 Exercises to Beat IT Band Syndrome

The IT band is the ligament that runs down the outside of the leg, from the hip to the knee. IT band syndrome is one of the most common running injuries. Often due to overuse, it results in an irritated and inflamed IT band which can make running difficult. Stretches and icing of the IT band can help relieve some of the associated pain. However, many runners find that as soon as they continue their running routine the condition comes right back.

Symptoms often include pain located on the outside of the knee. This is often an indicator of misaligned femur movement pattern. How do we fix this? Exercises that target glute strengthening and pelvis alignment can be great combaters for IT band syndrome. The following offers 6 exercises you can do to help get you back on track and counteract that annoying IT band syndrome that just won’t quit.

3 Exercises To Help You Achieve (Near) Perfect Running Form

Good running form helps prevent injuries from occurring. The body is made a certain way. Good posture often refers to the sitting or standing form where the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are under the least amount of strain. The same thing goes for running form. Improper technique can stress the joints and muscles, eventually causing pain and injury. Thus, it is of utmost importance to maintain good form, especially on those long runs!

There are exercises that can be done off the track that can strengthen and prepare your body to maintain good form when running. They can make you more aware of your body. They can further make your running form more efficient. Why strain muscles or overwork muscles that you don’t have to? Completing the following 3 exercises, 3 times a week may help you achieve near perfect running form.

The Seated Row

Why include an exercise for the upper body? Often runners neglect upper body exercises and opt for leg strengthening workouts. It, of course, makes sense. Strengthening and stretching of the hips and legs are important to creating a more efficient stride. However, many runners forget that good posture throughout a run is just as important. The seated row works the middle and lower trapezius muscles strengthening, often neglected, postural muscles. It keeps your spine aligned properly and prevents that improper forward hunch and forward head posture.

How To:

  1. Sit on the mat, with your legs straight in front.
  2. Wrap a resistance band around the bottoms of your feet. Hold the ends of the band in each hand with your arms straight to start.
  3. Slowly bend the elbows back along the sides of your body.
  4. At the same time, gently pinch the shoulder blades down and in.
  5. Slowly return to start and repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Do not shrug the shoulders.
  • Gently contract the core to protect the low back and prevent arching of the back.
  • If sitting on the floor is difficult, sitting in a chair with the band wrapped around a post is also an option.

High Knees

The high knees drill targets the hips, glutes, and thighs, which are all major muscles used in running. Strengthening these muscles can add power and efficiency to your running form.

How To:

  1. Stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart.
  2. Bend one knee and lift it up in front of you. Your thigh should create a 90-degree angle with the trunk of your body.
  3. Lower the leg forward and alternate sides.
  4. Repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Maintain a straight posture by gently contracting the core.
  • The high knee exercise can be done as a separate exercise or as a warm up prior to other exercises.

 

Chin Tucks

This exercise goes hand in hand with the seated row in preventing incorrect forward hunch or forward head posture. Chin tucks target the deep neck flexor muscles in the front of the neck. They help keep the head in line with the rest of the spine.

How To:

  1. Lie face up on a bed or mat.
  2. Without lifting the head off the mat or bed, gently nod your head.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets.

Tips & Tricks

  • A rolled towel can be placed behind the neck for support.
  • The muscles on the side of your neck, such as the sternocleidomastoid, should be relaxed throughout the exercise.

Exercises that support good running form may prevent future injuries from occurring.  Injuries can disrupt training and put your running goals on the back burner. The 3 exercises described above may aid in improving your running form and even your posture in day-to-day activities. Remember, your work off the track is just as important as your work on the track!

10 Easy Ways to Manage Lower Back Pain at Home

Imagine several years ago you were involved in a serious car accident, during which time your back was injured, resulting in the need for some medical intervention.  Recently, and due to the lingering effects of the wreck, your family doctor suggested that you may have some osteoarthritis in your spine.  To top it all off, your office job requires a lot of sitting during the day, which frequently leads to episodes of lower back pain flare-ups.  Those onsets usually present with soreness, tightness, and occasionally down right sharp pains targeting your susceptible lower back muscles.

10 Fast Facts about Middle Back Pain

You spent several hours today at the office moving some heavy boxes of client files, a process that required a lot of bending and twisting.  The middle portion of your back, injured a few years ago in an automobile accident, is now paying the price.  It seems tight, stiff and achy, and you can even feel a slight burning sensation when you twist to the left or to the right.  Something has to be done for your middle back pain issues, as it’s already cost you time off from your job, at which you typically sit for hours every day while tasking away at your desk.

6 Squat Variations for Injury Prevention

Squats are not an exercise you want to skip. They target many of the major muscles used in running, such as the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and core. Strengthening these major muscle groups may prevent injury by supporting and stabilizing the joints around them. The squat, in particular, focuses on the knee and hip joints, two of the major joints involved in running.

There are a variety of different squat exercises that may contribute to injury prevention. Further, mixing it up can prevent plateaus from occurring and challenge your muscles in a whole different way. The following outlines 6 squat variations, starting with the basics, for you to mix up your leg routine starting today.

A Beginner’s Guide to Preventing and Correcting Forward Head Posture

Another busy workday at the office is drawing to a close.  You’ve spent the past 3 hours hunched over in front of your desk, leaning in and squinting intently at figures on your computer screen.  As you get up from your chair, a sharp pain radiates from the base of your skull, down through your neck, and on into your arms.  Your left hand feels a bit numb and as you stand up you notice a dull ache and tightness in your neck muscles.  Now that you’ve disengaged your gaze from the computer screen, you realize that a headache has come on; something that you’ve dealt with more frequently nowadays.

5 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Proper Running Form

Strength training is an important aspect to include in your regular workout routine. As a runner, many believe the more running the better. However, regular strength training is significant in injury prevention. Balance is key. Strengthening the muscles involved in running can support joints prone to injury from overuse. Incorporating 2-3 strengthening days a week to coincide with 2-3 running days is an effective and efficient way to improve your running form and reduce the risk of injury.

A Complete Guide to Fixing Your Posture

During a typical work day, for example, if your job is in an office setting and you spend countless hours seated while squinting at a computer screen, most of us unknowingly experience poor posture.  What exactly does that look like?  Well, incorrect posture manifests when we slouch, with our chin pointed down, shoulders and upper back rounded forward, and our spines scrunched.  As a result, there are many undesirable physical, social and even emotional outcomes that can result from using poor posture.

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