Jordan Cieciwa is on a mission to make functional training fun and get everyday athletes tuned in to sport specific training. With a background in applied health and kinesiology, Cieciwa has worked with everyone from couch potatoes to weekend warriors to pro athletes, and is on a mission to show Canadians how easy and daily physical fitness really is.
A thousand steps forward, and no steps sideways. That’s running in a nut shell. It’s not a problem if you don’t intend on being injury free as long as possible. The beauty of modern exercise science is that we know how to exercise to prevent injury, we call it “prehab”. We know it, but most of us aren’t putting our know-how to practice, which can seriously hurt in the long run.
Runners often fall into an all-or-nothing mindset. Not only in running, but in other areas of life. There definitely is a “type” who take running seriously. The world needs more people like this, however, your hips, knees, and lower back could use a bit of a helping hand.
While gym time gets pitched as a be-all-end-all for fitness where 45 to 60 minutes is required after kicking in your training for your next race, few runners have that much extra time. But there’s no doubt runners are missing out, when they decide the gym isn’t for them, and rule out cross training all together. It’s that all or nothing, mindset but just because you can’t spend an hour on strength training, there really is still a way you can make your muscles work better for you. Give up 10-12 minutes and here’s how you can show your muscles a few new tricks.
Four Strength and Balance Moves
ONE: Balance on one foot, and try to touch the ground in 4 quadrants. Incredible for creating a stable ankle, knee, and hip. 60 seconds each leg. Slow and controlled movements.
TWO: Side squats, and a focus on lateral motion. When all you do is move straight all the time, it’s a good idea to move side to side with control. 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps each leg.
THREE: Laying side kick for a glute stabilizing focus. Big shout out to pilates for runners, it’s one of the best methods of exercise for endurance athletes. No need to go to a full class, just steal a few great moves. Sets of 8-10 reps each leg
FOUR: Hip bridge: Get that mobility through the hips, and engage the hamstrings.
Three Quick Stretching Exercises
ONE: Glute wall stretch is critical for relieving some of that strain on the low back runners experience. Do not forget to stretch your glutes and let them relax post training, it is a critical mistake many runners make. It will catch up with you.
TWO: Hip flexor stretch is critical to maintaining balance in the hip while running, and in daily life. Many of the greatest runners have day jobs, and most day jobs have us sitting. It is critical to longevity to make sure we stretch out our hip flexors.
THREE: Calf Stretch for real after a run or as part of this mini circuit. Take care of those pure over worked muscles and watch as your times improve immensely.
The strength and stretch can be done together, or as two separate workouts in the day. If you follow the guidelines of being healthy at work, you should be getting up and moving every hour. These quick routines will give you a reason to move. While the goal is to try to fit in least once a day, but there is no reason not to pick and choose a few of your favorites and work them in every hour.
Jordan Cieciwa is a Winnipeg-based corporate wellness coach, personal trainer and fitness professional. For more daily fitness advice, follow Jordan’s and his stand-out pup Gracie on Twitter and Instagram.