Day 10: Brutally Strong Hips

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-2-47-50-pm

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of strong hips and glutes. But it never hurts to hear it again…

Let’s review the November 4, 2016 post for those who haven’t heard this stuff yet, and for those who need a reminder…

When it comes to running strong, efficiently, and injury free, it’s all in the hips and butt!

Our hips and glutes work together to provide postural stability when we’re walking, standing and running. Our glutes stabilize and align the hip, decelerate our swinging leg while running, and provide power in our footstrike and push-off.

When we are pounding pavement (or any other kind of terrain), our pelvic floor, quads, hamstrings, knees, calves, and feet are constantly under fire. Without strong hips and glutes, those essential lower extremities might just blow!

The problem is that runners often have weak hips and glutes, leading to discomfort, inefficiency and—worst of all—injury.

According to the TrailRunnermag.com article 4 Hip-Strengthening Exercises to Help You Run Strong, “Trunk muscles—including your hips and glutes—are arguably the most important part of your running anatomy. Pay attention to them to prevent injury and stay strong.”

Weakness in your glutes is related to a lack of “recruitment,” explains Toni Dauwalter, a Physical Therapist at Accelerated Sports Therapy and Fitness in Minneapolis. “Two big reasons for [glute weakness are] our sitting lifestyle and a history of back pain and injury,” she says. “There isn’t much need for core recruitment in the sitting position, especially the frequently adopted work position of forward head and shoulders and rounded spine.”

When do you do your strength work? We’ve talked about this before too and ideally, the best time to do your strength training is right before you run. Doing these basic exercises just before heading out for a run will not only allow you to warm up a bit, but they will also remind you of which muscles you should be engaging while running and you’ll be more inclined to practice things like firing up through your glutes and maintaining good form.

Ready to fire those glutes and keep building strong hips? Let’s get to work Crew!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant (3 sets of 10 for both legs)
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Clams (3 sets of 10 for both legs)
  • Plank – :60 (Your choice)

Bonus: Modern Mom’s Hip Strength! – Why not? Throw in the workout for a great 8 minute burn!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 8
  • Push Ups Advanced – 36
  • Squats – Rest

Speed WorkPick up on pickups – “Speed Play” 

Speed play is the simplest form of speed work. “We simply introduce pickups during a run,” says Bob Glover, who supervises training programs for the New York Road Runners Club.

Pickups are segments of faster-paced running injected into an existing run.

In this first step, runners on a favorite 3-mile course begin choosing landmarks and running to them at a quicker-than-normal pace.

“It might be the next street light, it might be the top of a hill,” says Glover. “We tell them to do six or eight of these during the run.”

Same loop, same scenery, just the occasional decision to run slightly faster for a while.

“This takes away the stress of going to a track,” says Glover, “because in the minds of many of these people, you don’t go to the track unless you’re good.”

FARTLEKS!!! Go out and choose small portions of your run to pick up speed. Have fun with it!


Weak or strong? What will you choose today?

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-8-51-22-pm

Day 12: That Moment When…

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-5-43-15-amThat moment when…you’re running and you feel some pain in your hip, knee, IT Band….

That moment when….you want to go for a run but you think about how your body is hurting and no one can figure out why…

That moment when your hip goes out….and you’re going down!

Don’t wait till THAT moment that keeps you off the road….


Can you believe it’s already to 12th of December? Holy WOW this month is flying by!

If you aren’t taking advantage of the fast month…and the fast workouts our Crew is doing you’re missing out! Our exercises take 10 minutes a day…that’s it…10 minutes y’all!

On top of being quick, they are very effective! If you’re dealing with some pain below the waist…hips, IT Band, quads, knees, calves, ankles…then you should be doing these hip strength exercises. We’re in our 2nd month focusing on hip work and let me tell you…my body is very grateful. You know I’ve dealt with lots of knee pain this year but that pain has all but vanished since I started strengthening my hips.

After running 30.4 miles in around 22.5 hours this past weekend, I am pain free…PAIN FREE!! I had zero issues with knee pain during the Ragnar Trail race which is the only reason I was able to go the distance. What are you waiting for? Jump in now and start getting stronger…your body will thank you!

Day 12 exercises:

  • Donkey Kick Workout – Follow along with me in the video below
  • Bonus: Clams – 3 sets of 10
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 days of Christmas – Day 1 (see below)

Bonus: Clams – 3 sets of 10 – I know that workout is tough but you can do a little more! Clams are one of the most often recommended exercise to strength our hips. Bust out 3 sets of 10 clams for each leg. Use a resistance band if you have one or do them without…either way you will get results. Come on…you can do them laying down! 😉

Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 1 (1 minute Skaters) 

Sarah suggested a great way to add a little more into our routine and to celebrate the holiday. Day 1 is one minute of skaters. Here are 13 different variations on this exercise. Choose one that works best for you and let’s celebrate Christmas the STRONG way! 🙂

Speed Work: 6x -8X 1/4 mile repeats

This has to be everyones favorite speed work. It’s one we can call do without feeling too anxious. Don’t be scared by the phrase “speed workout.”  Speed is a relative term, by which I mean that one person’s “slow” pace might be another’s “fast” pace.  It’s all about pushing yourself beyond what is ‘comfortable’…not trying to do what someone else does. Remember that speed work is about more than just getting faster, it’s about pushing yourself a little more than you’re used too, about building up your endurance so your “normal” speed feels more comfortable therefore going a little faster is easier.

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:45
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:15.

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)

This workout is so effective because it will teach your body to move faster for longer periods of time, so hopefully come race day, you’ll be ready to shave a few seconds off each mile….and feel better doing it!


12 Days of Thanks: If you know me well…you know I am a bit of a Christmas scrooge. I love the holiday and the real meaning for the season, but I don’t like being “forced” to buy presents for tons of people just because someone says I am supposed too. I’d rather give thoughtful gifts throughout the year when they are needed…the stress of “gift giving” wears me out!

So as we get closer and closer to Christmas…I like to take off some of the stress and give thanks for some of the special things that happened in 2016. Along with Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas, I would love for us to mention some fabulous memories from our year and give thanks for what truly matters. When you post your 12 Days of Christmas each day, tell us something that made you smile in 2016. Let’s remember the good times before the year is over!

There is always something to be thankful for, and always a reason to keep moving forward. Share your memories with us and let’s find our holiday spirit together.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-6-11-49-am

Day 18: Weak Bums

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-6-41-39-pm

Our “weak bums” contribute to injuries….injuries that no runner wants to deal with.

Strengthening the muscles of the bum, hip, thigh, and leg are essential for a runner to maintain power and health!

Our hip muscles control the mechanics of our knees, so if we have weak hip abductor muscles and poor hip rotator muscle strength, our knees are at a higher risk of injury from patellofemoral pain syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome. We’ve already seen a few studies this month about how weak hips cause issues…but there’s more!

A recent study published for runners and referred to on RunnersConnect.com looked at the contributions of three muscles — the gluteus medius, the gluteus maximus, and the tensor fascia lata (TFL) — to hip motion hip strength exercises.

These three muscles are of interest because they have distinct and significant roles.

  • The gluteus medius is the main abductor and external rotator of the hip.
  • The gluteus maximus extends the hip and assists with abduction and external rotation.
  • The TFL is an abductor of the hip, but because of its positioning, it can also contribute to internal rotation

According to John Fairclough, who published an article specifically about IT Band Syndrome in the Journal of Science and Medicine, “a tense TFL (tensor fascia late), because it connects directly to the knee’s lateral side via the iliotibial band, may increase knee strain that could develop into or exacerbate injury.

His final thoughts…

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-6-54-22-pm

So what does all this mean for us? Well…Runners Connect and this Journal of Science and Medicine study suggest 5 exercises that are specific to runners and will help us strength our hips, and prevent and treat injuries.

  • clamshells
  • sidesteps with band
  • single-leg glute bridges
  • bent knee donkey kicks
  • straight leg donkey kicks

Great news for us since we have done ALL of these exercises this month! So for today, let’s do them again. Bonus exercises today: side steps with band, single leg glute bridge, and both variations of donkey kicks. Don’t worry it won’t take too long. These exercises transition easily into the next one.

Day 18 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Brigid’s Runner Clams
  • Side Lying Leg Lift
  • Reverse Clams
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose

Bonus: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Side Step with band (If you don’t have a band it’s super cheap and would be a good investment!)
  • Single Leg Glute Bridge
  • Donkey Kicks (bent knee)
  • Donkey Kicks (straight leg)

See below for slide show with photos of these exercises as reminders.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-8-23-25-pm


She Power Virtual Half Marathon & 5K: Remember that “She Power” virtual half marathon/5K we talked about a few weeks ago? Jan let me know that it’s on sale right now for $25.50 so it’s the perfect time to sign up!

The virtual race will be in January and you can run it anytime within the month. You can run it all at once, or in pieces, but I think we will try to pick a date that a lot of us can try to run it “virtually together.” I will start an event in Strong to the Core so we can chat more about the date that works best for everyone.

Let us know when you sign up! Here’s the link:  https://131events.com/she-power/


So what’s on your schedule this weekend? Who’s racing? I know Jamie Murray is running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Saturday and he’s gonna KILL it! 🙂 Jamie, ca we track you?  Anyone else doing this race or other races? Full? Half? Any fun 5Ks?

What about long runs? Tell us what’s on your schedule so we can cheer you on!

Remember….distance makes the heart grow stronger! So figure out your plan and get ready to GO LONG Crew! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-8-50-43-pm

Day 7: How Does Your Hip Drop?

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-35-12-amGood morning and happy Monday Crew!

Continuing this month’s focus on “All In the Hips” we must talk about side to side stabilization and hip drop. No we’re not talking about the heel drop in your shoes, we’re talking about the way your hips line up when you’re running.

Do you stand tall when you’re running, or does your body involuntarily lean to on side causing your hip to drop to an unnatural level?

I found a really good article on hip stabilization on RunnersConnect.com called, Hip strength and running form: The role of hip drop in running injuries. I won’t recap the entire article for you as the link is above, but it is important to know that many runners who suffer injuries have weak hip stabilizing muscles. Among these muscles, the ones which are most often weakened in injured runners are the abductors and external rotators.

research by Irene Davis at the University of Delaware has shown that one good predictor of future injuries in healthy runners is a mechanical evaluation of hip mechanics: runners who have excessive hip adduction (opposite of abduction) and internal rotation are at an increased risk of developing injuries in the knee and IT band.

The logic is pretty simple, then: weak abductor and external rotator muscles cause excessive adduction and internal rotation during running, since the hip muscles aren’t strong enough to resist the forces from ground impact.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s a few pictures of me at RNR Savannah this weekend. I look happy and of course I’m smiling as always, but the knee pain was real and it kept me from taking that left turn onto the highway to complete the full marathon as I had signed up for. I was happy with my half marathon finish….but I am guilty of weak hips and here is the proof.

Totally guilty of hip drop. Especially later on in the race when I get more tired and lazy about my form.

Want to find out if you need to work on stabilization and getting those hips in line too? Find a race photo, or use a mirror, camera, or a friend to evaluate yourself to see if your hips tilt when you’re in the stance phase of your stride, particularly if you have had knee or IT band issues in the past…or feel a little niggling in your lower extremities now.

If you do find that your hips are dropping, we can fix it either by overriding your “natural” gait habits and practicing “standing taller” when we run and by doing strength exercises to shore up our weaknesses.  Fortunately, after adding hip strengthening exercises and practicing standing tall and keeping your pelvis level for a while, it will become automatic, overriding the old stride pattern in your brain. YAY…there is hope! 🙂

These exercises are for everyone so even if you don’t suffer from poor running form, eventually your hips will grow weaker and you may find this becoming a reality too. Work on hip strength now to avoid pain and injuries in the future.

Day 7 exercises: Hips/Glutes – Follow video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose – :30 each leg

Seems like a lot…but in reality this workout takes about 5 minutes total for both legs. Don’t forget to start the video over with the opposite leg!


Bonus: Clamshell – 3 sets of 10 (each side) – Perfect addition to today’s hip/glute workout and an exercise we can do daily without any worry of “overdoing” it. Add some difficulty by using a resistance band around your knees.


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Want to burn some extra calories today? Sarah has extended a little side challenge to us for this month that I am going to include each day. It’s a quick way to burn some extra calories so if this is an off day from running and you want to get your heart rate up a bit more, throw it in!

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Lots of fun stuff to do on a Monday….but what else are Monday’s for other than a little hard work? 😉


Speed Work: Speed work can be done any day of the week but should be a few days in advance of your long run to give your legs a chance to recover fully before another “effort session”. If you go long on Saturday, get your speed work done by Wednesday. If you wait till Sunday to get those extra weekly miles in, you can safely wait till Thursday for speed work. But don’t put it off. Get it done because we know that speed work has MANY positive effects on on our running. Better breathing and lung capacity during our workouts being a huge motivating factor!

Workout: The Short Ladder 

This is a tough workout but once it’s done…man on man do you feel like a total badass! here’s how to set it up. I’m calling it the “short ladder” because I’m leaving out the 1200m this week. Baby steps…

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles slow and easy – Rest 2 min
  2. 1600 – 1 mile – Don’t go all out…yet – Rest 2 min
  3. 800M – 1/2 mile – Speed up a little from your mile – Rest 2 min
  4. 2 x 400M – 1/4 mile – These should be your faster intervals – Rest 2 min between and after
  5. 800M – 1/2 mile – Back off the 400m speed but still give it some power! – Rest 2 min
  6. 1600m – 1 mile – This will be hard…but you can do it! Don’t give up!
  7. Cool down – 1 mile – This mile will feel easy and should be at your long run pace. Take time to breathe and just bring your heart rate down.
  8. STRETCH!! This is just as important as the rest of your workout. Don’t skip it. Your back, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves will thank you! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Throw in a final pigeon pose just because it feels so good!

Don’t have time? Make time! This is for YOU! You need it. You deserve it! You will love yourself when it’s over! Get to work Crew and make it a fabulous Monday! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-6-16-14-am

Day 25: Reality Check

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-29-37-amWe talk a lot about getting stronger and running faster…and focus little on how strength training will help us burn more calories.

Reality check! If you want to lose weight, lose inches, fit into your clothes better, or just slim down a bit… throwing strength training into the mix will give you that extra calorie burn long after your workout is done!

We’ll never stop running, but throwing some iron in the mix will help you reach those side goals Crew!

Day 25 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Lunge Squats
  • Plank Donkey Kicks
  • Booty Boxes
  • Split Squats
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #Hip Strength – 2-3 sets of 10

You’re going to see these exercises and more hip strength in next months challenge so learn to love them!

  • Clams knees together
  • Clams feet together
  • Side lying leg raises

Speed Work: Mile Repeats – ****Repeated from Monday’s Post****

Last week we did a “mile test run” to see where we were at. The workout was intended to be one fast mile after warm up and cool down. This week we are doing 2-3 of those miles, but not at your fastest speed. You want to be at about 85%-90% of your 5K race pace. Think of it as a “tempo pace”. Your tempo pace should be a little faster then the time you would be able to hold during a half marathon. For example, my fastest half marathon is just under 2 hours (average 9:10/mile), so my tempo pace for these mile repeats would be around an 8:55. Never ran a half? That’s ok! I know the numbers are a little daunting to some, but don’t stress. Reach out to me by PM here and let’s chat. I will help you figure out where you should be.

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Lots of exercises today…I know it will take a little bit to get through them. But hey, if you want something bad enough, you make the time!

Excuses are easy…will you take the easy way out today? Or will you make time to do the work?

Make it a great Tuesday Crew! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-41-11-am

Day 20: Leg Day Again??

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-19-14-amWho else is NOT ready for leg day again??

With lots of miles, a killer leg workout on Tuesday, speed work, and wall sits…this week has been brutal!

But we got this Crew! Take it slow and steady and push through!

Day 20 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15

****Click here to how to videos****

  • Hero Lunge :30 each side
  • Fire Hydrant with Kick
  • Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • Bedtime Plank
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Bonus: #HipStrength screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-40-01-am

I went to see a PT at CORA Rehabilitation yesterday on the advise of my PRS Running Coach. What did PT say? Knee pain most likely caused by unstable & insufficient hip strength…. what?!?! I do my strength exercises! Yes..he said he could tell…strong quads, strong calves…but since my pain shows up after longer distances he thinks my hips start to falter (possible stride fluctuation) as I get tired. Knee pain started at mile 15 in Chicago and mile 10 at this past weekend’s Marine Corp Half.

As we all know our hips connect to our quads, which attach our knees, which follow all the way down our legs to ankles and feet. So when our hips are misaligned our just get tired and cause our stride to go askew it shows up in other places down our body.

PT: “I can tell you do strength work, but do you focus on hips?”

Me: “Well, we are doing lots of squats, fire hydrants, and pistol squats this month.”

PT: “Pistol squats are great. Make sure you’re knee is not folding in when you do them. Very important to keep that knee aligned with your hip. What about clams and side leg lifts?”

ME: “Hmmmmm…not this month.”

PT: “Add in clams (knee up and foot up) and side leg raises. Hip instability is a problem for lots of runners. When you have strong legs but your hips haven’t caught up your hips can misalign after long bouts of hard work.”

Sigh…makes sense…but dang more work to do! Who’s up for some extra hip strength work with me today?

  • Clams – Knee up – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Clams – Feet up – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Side lying leg raise – 3 sets of 1e each side

For the side lying leg raises make suer your leg stays behind your body. Don’t let that leg com in front of your hips. Body should be very straight.  It is also important to keep the foot flexed and pointed straight ahead of you.

He also gave me a band to use during these exercises. It’s very small and just a stretching band to give me some resistance. Who has one? If you do, use it. If not, look into getting one. They are super cheap and I’m thinking about throwing these exercises in again in November. Monster walks anyone? 🙂  screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-44-18-am

Here are some resistance bands I found on Amazon Prime for $6.99 but I’m sure you can also find them at your local Walmart for pretty cheap. This is what they look like.

PT did something called Astym which wasn’t too nice feeling but was a very intense version of rolling. He said Astym regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and removes unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Rolling is your AT HOME version of this treatment Crew so if you’re not taking time to roll, make the time and prevent your muscles and tendons from getting to the point where you need more invasive therapy!


Speed Work: Lots of super speedy miles this week YAY! Jessica and I went to track with PRS last night and did some mile repeats…so fun HAHA 😉 PT told me to go at 60% after treatment but of course I pushed a little harder. Jessica did awesome finishing her 2nd mile repeat in 8:41!! Go JESS!!!

Have you logged in your speedy mile yet this week? If not, try it out today and see where you’re at!

Here’s the workout: Mile “bench mark” run 

We want to see how fast you can run 1 mile, and I also want to show you how going faster is possible for you!. Make sure you are well rested and have fresh legs then go out and do a 1-2 mile warm up, rest for a few minutes, then run with your heart and do a mile as fast as you can. Cool down with 1 more mile then call it a day. 3-4 miles total. I want to see some super fast for you miles Crew! Do your warm up and cool down miles as slow as you want. All I want to see if that 1 mile time. Have fun with it and surprise yourself with how fast you can go!

Lots of info…and lots of stuff to do today! But no one gets stronger without a little struggle and a lot of hard work!

Get up! Get Moving! And make it an awesome Thursday Crew!

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-55-25-am

 

Day 17: Love Leg Day!

last squat repMy Favorite leg day!! Squats, Donkey Kicks & Fire Hydrants oh boy!

It’s time to knock out a killer leg day then rest up so we can tackle those races and long runs this weekend!

What’s on your schedule this weekend? Let me know so I can be thinking about you and cheer you on!

Day 17 exercises: 3 sets of 15

  • Squats
  • Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrant
  • Single Leg Deadlifts
  • Calf Raises (1 set of 10 each leg)
  • Planks – 1 min (2X)
  • Side Planks – 1 min (1X each side)
  • Calf Stretches
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Quad Stretch

How to videos here…stretching exercises at the bottom.

Bonus: #GetClammy

Basic clamBasic Clam: 10 – 15 times

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on your mat. Place a plump pillow or medicine ball between your knees and lengthen your spine. Exhale as you engage your inner thighs and squeeze the pillow. Inhale as you release the pressure without dropping the pillow. Do not allow your tailbone to lift up as you squeeze; keep your spine long so that your tailbone stays down, recommends Robinson. Perform 10 squeezes, noticing how it feels to keep your pelvis steady while engaging your inner thighs.

Open Clam: 10 – 15 each sideopen clam

Lie on your side with your spine aligned with the edge of your mat. Stack your legs one on top of the other, and tuck your knees forward about 45 degrees. Exhale as you lift the top knee up, keeping your feet stacked. Your legs should look like an open clamshell. Inhale as you close your legs. Keep your pelvis steady throughout the movement. Intensify this exercise by squeezing your buttocks three times in the open clamshell position.

Clam Squeeze: 10 -15 timesScreen Shot 2016-03-17 at 5.44.06 AM

Stay in the same position that you used for open clam and place the pillow between your knees. Keep your feet stacked as you slowly exhale and gently squeeze the pillow. Keep your spine long so that your back does not tuck or arch. Inhale as you release the pillow. To intensify this exercise, perform three tiny pulses when you are in the squeezed position.

Reverse clamReverse Clam: 10 – 15 each side

After performing clam squeeze, put the pillow aside. Keep your knees pressed gently together and rotate your top thigh inward to lift your shin and foot upward. Your clamshell is now opening to the rear. Exhale as you lift up; inhale as you close the clamshell. Repeat this movement without allowing your spine to tuck or arch. To intensify this exercise, add tiny pulses – about ½ inch — in the open clam position.

Running Drills and Speed Work: Have you added the high knees and grapevines in before you run this week? What about last weeks butt kicks and bounding? Have you thrown in some speedy fartleks while pounding the pavement (or treadmill)? If not…try them! These are fun drills that will give us strength, power, and speed! Click here for Monday’s post with all the info you need to do them properly.

When you’re hating me (in a good way 😉 ) remember that…

exercise makes you happy

Make it a great Thursday Core Crew! 🙂

Stretches: