Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Standing Athlete – Nose to Toes

Let’s get your musculature organized while standing so that we can replicate it when running. This 5 minute video (courtesy of Kelly Starrett of will get your feet straight, butt tucked, abs engaged, shoulders/blades aligned, and head up (and out off…)! This mental exercise and will be exhausting (but with big payoffs). As my wife/coach tells me: “Make Better Choices!”

Your queues are:

  • Feet straight ahead
  • Butt squeezed (relax to 20% engaged) to correct your anterior pelvic tilt (butt tucked)
  • Abs squeezed (relax to 20% engaged) to further support that pelvis and bring the rib cage down slightly
  • Shoulders externally rotated (palms out) with some tension in the shoulder blades
  • Head up and just move your eyes to look downward

This can help with lower back pain for most adults. This is also a primary focus when you start to get fatigued in longer runs (you release the abs and glutes which allows you to hang off that anterior pelvic tilt – butt sticking out). The lower back needs to work hard along with the hamstrings covering for the lazy glutes.

So, if you hear me calling you “Lazy Ass”, you know to “Tighten-up” and get focused for better running.

Addendum: Here is a video of some mobility exercises to help relieve back spasms before you pop meds.

Knee hurts? Take 3-6 weeks of hip exercises and call me in the morning

It is all about the hips. Many of the lower body pain problems in running are due to weakness or inability to activate muscles in the hip complex. These hip exercises are recommended by Dr. Reed Ferber of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary. Based on his studies, he found that 6 weeks of these exercises solve 92% of runner knee pain issues. I have found that most runners will see a significant reduction in knee or IT Band pain after about 3 weeks (your mileage may vary). I am not a doctor so I recommend you see a professional  (but I know most runners hate seeking professionals, or you can do these non-running exercises while waiting to get an appointment…).

Here are the recommended exercises for those who are experiencing pain, or would like to prevent pain and dysfunction (i.e. All Runners!). You can perform them while watching TV or YouTube cat videos.

If you can only do just one exercise, make it this one.