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Monthly Archives

August 2020

Hip, Core and Lower Leg strength for Endurance Runners

Cross and strength training for running can help make you a more robust, stronger and efficient runner, thus reducing your risk of injury, making running easier and potentially benefiting your race pace.

If you look at the biomechanics of running, not only is it an integrated, full-body activity, it is also a series of single-leg movements. Thus, we need to have an adequate amount of single-leg balance, strength and mobility at the ankle, knee and hip, along with the slings and systems involved with upper body and pelvis rotation, counter-rotation, supporting the weight of the upper body and absorption of energy.

Here are 12 simple exercises you can incorporate into your easy run or cross-training days. Once you’ve mastered these and you’re looking for more variations and progressions, contact us at The Body Refinery to book in for a refined runner session and get the most out of your training time!

The goal is to get to 1 minute per exercise, completed with good form. Complete the exercises in chronological order from 1 – 12 – this is one set. You’re aiming to build up to 3 sets over time.

Start out on the ground – here we will wake our brain and body up to each other, you will increase your muscle and body position awareness in these supported exercises, ready to increase the challenge and integrate more movements further along in this exercise sequence.

  • Supine bridges – focusing on gluteus maximus and hamstrings with some pelvic control from abdominals, progress to adding a single leg march.

  • Side leg raises – focusing on pelvic stability and gluteus medius – our main pelvic stability muscle. Add a bottom leg lift for more core and inner thigh challenge

  • Single leg stretch – a little bit of ab love while you’re controlling hip extension and flexion

  • Thoracic mobility + spine extensor strength – FR mobilisation & dart/scare crow

  • Side plank – an amazing exercise working on neck, shoulder, oblique, side hip + inner thigh and ankle strength. Add a twist to increase the oblique challenge and a top leg lift to really fire up those hip stabilisers.

  • Plank – another amazing exercise integrating neck, shoulder, abdominal and quad strength + toe mobility. Add alternating leg raises or shoulder taps or both

  • Clamshell push up

Now let’s bring this party up off the ground and integrate.

  • Full squat, hands against a wall – working on upper back mobility and hip mobility with leg and hip strengthening
  • Walking lunges – focusses on building single leg glute and quad strengthening.

  • Dragon squat – mobility and stability! Involving hip, ankle, toes.

  • Discobolus – single-leg hip stability, balance and strength coming at you

  • Double leg hopping on the spot w leg hike – lower leg tissue recoil + hip & knee mobility and strength

 

Want a super quick session? No problems, go from number 8 – 12.

If you are looking for further support and guidance or prefer the motivation of training in a group, The Body Refinery is here to help. Our team of dedicated movement professionals deliver over 160+ group fitness and Pilates classes and many more individual and group studio Pilates, exercise physiology and clinical rehab sessions per week, in addition to having specialised running programs on offer.

We have you covered! Contact The Body Refinery today to find out how we can help.

Increase your Age-ility

Ageing is commonly defined as the accumulation of diverse detrimental changes occurring in cells and tissues with advancing age, which is responsible for increased risk of disease and death. It sounds dramatic but we are mortal beings and from the day of conception the process of ageing begins. But ageing doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a decline in health and wellbeing or a decline in cognitive function.

Despite many people’s beliefs, dementia is not an inevitable part of old age. While dementia is associated with non-modifiable factors such as age and genetics, an estimated 35% of dementia cases are related to modifiable factors, in particular the amount of physical exercise a person performs.

Physical exercise is beneficial for the management of risk factors of dementia, such as: diabetes; hypertension; and obesity. Physical exercise also has a positive effect on sleep and mood. In a study done in 2019 (Spartano et al) it was found that an hour of light-intensity physical activity was associated with one year less of brain ageing, which is believed to be as a result of the decrease in inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies undertaken in 2020 (Alty et al and Law et al) showed that physical exercise increased new brain connections by making new neurons, and decreased cognitive decline.

Ageing decreases reaction time, muscle strength, coordination and balance. Exercise programs that include strength, balance and functional exercise can improve mobility in ageing. Studies have shown that high-intensity programs that include balance, strength and functional exercise of 30-60 minutes, 3 times a week, will improve the overall wellbeing of ageing individuals, and improve balance and strength in those with the early signs of dementia.

As we age the risk of falls also increases due to decreases in reaction time, muscle strength, coordination and balance. Exercise intervention that includes balance and functional training, along with strength training, assists in the prevention of falls.

The Body Refinery has developed a program called Age-ility that is focused on decreasing the effects of ageing and the risk factors of dementia while improving quality of life. Further information is available from our website, or by calling the studio.