Science on the Run: Bad Posture = Bad Runner

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

As a fidgety-runner-type-who-hates-sitting-at-her-desk and worries about maintaining good posture, I’ve been incorporating stretching a few times a day, in addition to multiple walks to fill up my cup at the water station and my mid-day run (with all these breaks, you probably wonder how I ever get any work done!) Personally, I’m more productive this way as it allows me to work in concentrated time slots with a clear mind.

Science on the Run: Drills, What Are They Good For?

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

It’s likely you’ve heard that running drills will improve your technique to make you a more efficient runner. Some coaches claim that running drills are effective by way of simulating individual running phases, seeking to correct technique. However, research has shown that the method of performing those classic ‘As, Bs and Cs’ do not mimic the same muscular activation patterns as in running.

Personally, I see a lot of value in performing drills that gets the athlete practicing quick feet, explosiveness and maintaining good posture. They’re also a great way to warm up for a speed workout after a light jog – along with strides they prepare the body for quick movement and increase dynamic range of motion that would not be achievable through static stretching.

Science on the Run: Get Up and Glute!

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

We all know we could work more on our glutes. But who actually commits to it? While I know its importance, I’ve easily lost motivation in my attempts at prehab for many self-proclaimed ‘good’ reasons – change in schedule, fatigue, sickness, or no longer being injured! A physio-runner-friend of mine even setup a three-week challenge, complete with filmed exercises posted on Facebook to make it convenient for her and her peers to stay on track. I think 90% of us failed to do the exercises every day.

Science on the Run: Pesky Ankle or Knee Issues? Consider Your Midsole.

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By Nikki Reiter

With all the different types of running shoes on the market, have you ever stopped to wonder whether a softer or harder shoe truly affects how you run? Do they prevent injuries? I’ve previously discussed the importance of perceived comfort when choosing a shoe. Here I present how the qualities of the shoe midsole can relate to injury potential.

Science on the Run: The Maximal Footwear Debate

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By Nikki Reiter

I couldn’t figure out how to respond in only 140 characters to a Run SMART reader’s tweet, ‘Say no to Hokas?’ in response to my last post about the ‘foot core system’. While I’m not an expert on Hoka shoes, I do have some reservations about it’s thick midsole. Thanks to @SaltyRuns for the tweet!

Science on the Run: What Are We Without Our Feet?

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

Being injured sucks. I recently hit a setback to my post-maternity training due to some ‘stop-me-dead-in-my-tracks’ arch pain. From this stems a reminder for ‘prehab, prehab, prehab!’ This personal incident comes along with an aptly timed publication about a new paradigm concerning foot health – the ‘foot core system.’

While we traditionally associate our ‘core’ with our pelvic region (and all the muscles that insert into it), this new publication highlights that the foot also has its own core, comprising of ‘intrinsic muscles’ (meaning the muscles fully contained within the foot) that are largely ignored when it comes to the typical muscles we associate with running.

Science on the Run: All Is Good In Moderation

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By Nikki Reiter

You often hear that it’s important to warm up for a variety of reasons surrounding injury prevention and optimal performance. Have you ever wondered if your warmup is helping or hindering your performance?  Are you doing too much that you’re wasting valuable energy? Or too little that you haven’t warmed up enough?

Proper Form Reminders While Running With A Stroller

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

I’ve been doing daily runs lately with my baby in the jogging stroller. I can say that these runs sure do make me appreciate the days when I get to go solo. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing my baby sing and chat along in her very own language with the rumbling of the stroller. However, as a biomechanist, I’m plagued with always thinking about my form – and subsequently how it changes with the stroller.

Science on the Run: Whip Those Glutes Into Shape!

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Image credit Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists (Medial Heel Whip)

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

Glute weakness is often considered one of the main culprits of running injuries. Run too much without the muscular support of the pelvis and core, and BAM! – IT band issues, patellofemoral pain, shin splints, foot pain, etc. Statistically, it has probably happened to each of us at some point in our running careers.

How do you know if you have weak glutes? Chances are if you are a member of today’s society, you are affected to some degree. Prolonged sitting is typically credited with being the reason. How do you know if your glutes are really weak? Well, one gait pattern you can look at is how your foot moves from behind your body at push-off, or whether you experience ‘heel whip.’