In terms of movement patterns, there may not be any other activity more functional to the human body than running. From the moment a monkey was forced to walk on 2 feet, running has been maybe the most important movement pattern our ancestors learned and evolved to proliferate our species to where it is today. If one thing is certain, we are all born to run. Since it is such a huge part of our genetic heritage as human beings, the importance good biomechanical running cannot be overlooked. In the last 6 months, I have become aware as to how important it is to learn how to run correctly, not only from an evolutionary perspective, but from a mechanical perspective as well.
When you look at the anatomy of a baseball swing, knockout punch, discuss throw, or shotput, it’s very difficult to not see the mechanical similarities these activities have to a full blown sprint. Specifically, the muscular orientation involved when the body is being torqued horizontally and transversely. A particularly important determinant to the efficiency of this torque is going to be relevant to the functioning capacity of the “Anterior Oblique System.” The Anterior Oblique System consists of 3 muscles: External Obliques, Internal Obliques, and the Adductors. These muscles work together diagonally from the core, down to the inner parts of the pelvis and femur. If these muscles function at their full capacity, they will zig zag during the gait cycle. One side of the Anterior Oblique System will be dynamically elongating, while the other is shortening simultaneously. If this muscle system is working to its full capacity, you can be sure that you’ll feel that next gear kick in when running.
Since I have been training my clients to move properly in their gait cycle, I have seen a noticeable change in their mechanical adaptability to our workouts, which in turn have helped improve many other aspects of their lives. Many lower back, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle and neck issues can usually be associated with improper weight distribution, while the body is in its locomotor movement cycle. Since walking and running are naturally what humans do more than any other physical activity, it becomes increasingly important to master these movement patterns correctly to prevent further dysfunction.
Here is a video of the best exercise I know of to functionally train the Anterior Oblique System. Enjoy 🙂