Hunched over and lacking core abdominal strength

poor postureToday I was coaching an under-21 cross country athletes group. As a coach my job is to observe running form in order to assist the athlete to move forward.

However, there was something very evident that wasn’t right in regard to one of the athletes. It was something more than his running form that stood out. It was about the way he walked when he arrived at the training session and then as he was about to leave.

His shoulders were really hunched over and his head was looking downwards. As a coach my feeling was that there is no way that he is going to be able to improve his running form until he looks at his general posture.

You see your posture is a reflection of who you are and how you feel. To me if you walk tall, chin up,  eyes ahead you ooze confidence and you have a feel a good factor about you. However, when you are hunched over then that normally give the impression of having a lack of confidence in one self and one’s ability.

To me this was having a major affect on his form when it came to his cross country and trail running. Not only physically but emotionally and psychologically. As a coach it is important to encourage my runners not only on the pitch but off the pitch. So my tip of the day  is to focus on core abdominal strength exercise.

In Wild Forest Gym this is at the centre of all our 10 fundamental elements that we teach. If you develop core physical strength, then with it comes core mental strength and combined together you posture will align and you will start walking with your head high.

ipso_crawl_2_400x267Here is today’s abdominal core strength workout.

Some of these exercises are advanced so if you are not familiar with core abdominal exercises please research core abdominal exercises for beginners.

Monster Crawl – Wide arms & legs version of the Ipso Crawl (hands and feet crawl – left arm synched with left leg). Keep back straight, knees and hips low. Duration – 5-10 mins

Hanging Leg Raise – Hanging down from a branch (or push-up bar) with your feet just off the ground and then raising your feet to your hands or just above.  3 sets of 4 – 8 reps

Jumping Frog and Static Frog – Here check out coach Mike Finch’s video. Duration – 5-10 mins

Lizard Moving Plank – This is the regular straight arm plank exercise, where you keep your posture from toes to head fully aligned. Then you bring an Ipso movement into the exercise where your left arm is in synch with your left leg.  Heals are kept high pushing your body’s GCM (general centre of mass) towards your shoulders allowing gravity to move you forward. Then off you go keeping absolutely straight posture. You can go in all directions. Duration – 5-10 mins

Log push up – Position 3 or 4 logs  in different placement that you can still place your hand on when in push up position.  So have them positioned so that your hands will be in different position for each rep. The object is that although your feet will stay in roughly the same place with each rep you will move one or of your hands to another log so sometimes you will do wide push ups other times one arm forward the other one closer to your ribs. This is about stability making sure that your core is solid and not loosing your balance as you need to avoid the logs moving – Advanced exercise. 3 sets of 5-10 reps

Crab Walk – this is an upside down crawl so that your back is facing the ground. Object here is to keep your mid-section as high as possible. You can go in all directions. Duration – 5-10 mins

DISCLAIMER: R4C Health Solutions limited t/a Wild Forest Gym are not responsible for an injury, accident or death if you choose to use the descriptions or instructions on any technique described herein.  Some techniques and exercises on this website are advanced and could lead to an accident, serious injury or even death if you do these exercises without coach supervision.  Never train beyond your means.  Some techniques are dangerous in their own right others are very strenuous. Always seek medical advice and speak to a coach. If you experience any pain or discomfort then stop, check the key points otherwise stop and seek advice.

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