Functional Patterns

Here is a tutorial to help you improve the intrinsic running biomechanics.

If you’re looking to not only run faster, but also stave off common joint pain while running, this is definitely a must watch video.

Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns, and for today’s video tutorial, I’m going to show you guys how to not only run faster, but run in a sustainable fashion that’s going to protect your joints.

Running is one of those activities that lots of people do, and they always face injuries. Most of the time they do it needlessly, just simply because they don’t know what they need to strengthen, and what they need to mobilize. There’s a ton of mobility that I’ve done on this YouTube channel that relates to correcting things like your gait cycle, and mobilizing tissues that address your postural distortions.

Today’s focus is going to be on integrated movements that are going to make your running better right now (run faster). The emphasis of both these movements are going to activate the anterior oblique slings, working from this external oblique to this internal oblique, to this adductor, focusing on this connection between those tissues. You guys see how they’re working across?

And we’re going to also focus on the posterior oblique sling, the back side of my body where I’m working this lat contra-lateral to this glute. So whenever I’m going into my gait cycle, you guys will notice that I’m going to be extending my leg and extending my arm at the same time. I’m going to go and do a brief demo of it while I do some running right here on our treadmill.

Okay, so first and foremost, we’re going to be working on the posterior oblique sling. I want you guys to just visualize what this arm does with this leg. My right leg and my left arm. This is going to be called the contra-run, or reciprocation. What that means is that my body is going to diagonally cross its tension, in order to help propel me forward. They’re going to reciprocate one another in order to help bringing me forward.

So you’ll notice what I’m going to do right now, I’m going to step forward, and they come back together. Now my right arm is going to then reciprocate my left leg as I go from here to here. There’s a lot of different step that happen in the sequence, but we’re just going to keep it at that basic for right now.

So the arm goes here; that reciprocates, this arm goes here; that reciprocates. So left arm is in a move almost as syncly as the contra-lateral leg. Once I start doing this dynamically, that same principle is going to apply. So I’m going to just be running here and you’ll notice that as this pulls back, this leg will move back. [inaudible 00:02:21 (run faster)] I’m moving my dorsal that way, and there’s an extension happening here.

So you know that that’s the posterior oblique sling. It’s the lat working in time with the contra-lateral glute. So I’m going to be taking you guys over here to this pulley machine to show you guys how we’re going to exercise this posterior oblique sling.

Okay, so for starters, we’re going to be operating from a unilateral position. Uni means one, which means I’m just going to be using one leg to promote my balance here. I’m going to be rotating my t-spine, TBA is going to be in, ribs are going to be fairly open, abdominals are going to be contracted, or maintaining some intra-abdominal pressure, and what I’m going to be doing is putting my pressure on my lead foot. I’m going to press up on that lead foot, and then bring myself back into this position.

I’m going to rotate my t-spine to the right. You guys will see this arm extends as this arm extends. So you’ll see that reciprocity happening through the movement, very similar to what we were just doing on that treadmill a minute ago. So at that point, if we add resistance on this band here, then it immediately means that by me putting this band here, I’m loading that sling in a much more effective fashion than if I was just running, so I’m actually strengthening the connection between those two points. So rotating that neutral spine.

To cover a few more specifics, I want you guys to pay attention to what my left leg is going to do here. As I press off with this right leg here, because I just switched my stance, I’m going to push off my left leg. By me pushing off my left leg, it’s going to trigger an activation through a closed chain of my left hip flexor, which also reciprocates my glute on the opposite side.

So this hip flexor works with this glute. This lat works with this glute. So we’re going to be going … pressing off this right heel, we then drive forward with the left leg, and with that, we pull with the arm. Boom. Now we’re hitting all sorts of muscle connections that you wouldn’t get from a lot of traditional training approaches.

Once you really get it dialed in, and you feel that you got your row on-point, you got your ribs extended properly, what you’re then going to do is really drive this leg back, and you finish the movement so that you finish the extension. You can even use a reciprocity movement. So that’s how we’re going to work the posterior oblique sling. And then go right back to that treadmill once again, so I can show you guys what else we’ll be working on.

So we’ll get that anterior view. Now we’re going to start looking at the rotation of my trunk. Before, we were talking about the extension of the arms, extension of the legs, moving straight forward and back. Now we’re going to start talking bout twisting motions that are involved with our gait cycle.

So if I decide to go sprint, we’ve got to think. Or if I’m going to go jog, if I don’t have this rotation completely on-point, it’s quite likely my body is going to start doing stuff like this. Just think that if this doesn’t rotate here, my femurs are probably going to have to rotate, and that’ll then lead me to a whole slew of problems, because my legs can not remain straight forward (run faster).

I want you guys to think that the anterior oblique sling, this connection of my external oblique, internal oblique, and my adductor, they help enable me to keep my leg straight forward to I can extend my legs straight back, and so I can extend my arms back. If I don’t get that rotation, then we go back to what I was just mentioning a minute ago.

So the functional gait cycle should probably look somewhat like this (run faster), hopefully. I’m rotating my trunk, thoracic is extended, and you guys will see this rotation happening with my trunk. Pelvis is fairly stable. I’m going to show you guys how to exercise those slings.

So we’re going to go right back here to the pulley machine. This time we’re going to be facing away from it. Right leg is going to be forward, right arm is going to be holding the pulley. Arm is going to be extended in this fashion, weight’s on the lead foot. Instead of stepping backwards, we’re going to step forward this time, so I’m going to pull with this arm, and then rotate and come forward.

When I come back I’m going to drag this heel back on the lead side. Again, posture; all that stuff needs to remain intact. Careful with the anterior shifts and the kyphosis. All these points should be in place, so that way when you do incorporate your rotation: boom. You get a nice clean extension out of this right glute, right here. So you go here. Boom. Return. You really get a dial then.

Your hips are going to remain nice and square. I’m not doing a lot of hip rotations. Going back and forth, the hips remain nice and square, and I fire forward. I’ll do the other side. Legs are also remaining in the sagittal plane. Coming back. This side seems to be my more problematic one. That’s from years of doing boxing. This leg is used to being back, this one doesn’t like going back. You guys will get to see me struggle a bit more with this leg, but just notice how I’m rotating my t-spine to help propel that extension right here on this left glute.

So I rotate. I really get onto that lead foot. So I’m building, not just the anterior oblique sling, but the posterior oblique sling, but that ones emphasizing more on the push, so that means my AOS is getting a little bit more of that. That exercise, again, is going to help enable us to rotate our upper body, and keep our legs into the sagittal plane of motion (run faster).

If you’re a person who has knee valgus, who has knee varus, where the knees either go out and in, that’s usually stemming from a body that is not rotating in the transverse plane quite well, here. So by us putting this emphasis here, taking the rotation up here takes away the rotations down here. So really focus on your execution.

Now this is not the easiest exercise in the world, so I would remind you guys to practice your MFR or your corrective exercises. If you haven’t gone that deep into the Functional Patterns training library, I highly recommend you check out my Training for Humans workout system. That one specifically covers how to train better in three dimensional space. If you can move in three planes of motion, these rotations come as a natural mechanism whenever you do your running. So this is just one of the pieces of the puzzle that you’ll need to get there. The Training for Humans really goes into that. The Power of Posture, if you’ve not even worked on posture yet you shouldn’t do any of this (run faster).

If you’re stuck in a hyper-extension at the lumbar-pelvic region, if you’re still stuck in a kyphosis do not do any of this. This is actually going to be very counter-productive for your body, and you don’t want to do that. That’s going to be very, very damaging. The last thing you need to do is start trying to do rotations and do your thoracic while you’re in a kyphosis.You can do it … people do do it … they get away with it for a while, but eventually they get injured, so for the sake of sustainability, and maintaining safety, make sure that you correct your posture, so if you haven’t seen my book The Power of Posture, it may be something else to check out. And if not, just go through this entire YouTube channel. I’ve got a bunch of information on this in regards to muscle dysfunctions and all that. You’re just going to have to do a little bit of research (run faster).

Anyway, I do hope that you guys found this video to be useful. Let me know what you think. I hope you guys get a little bit more connectivity through your upper and lower body, and that you guys can really start feeling this through your gait cycle.

Til next time, this is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns, reminding you to run intentionally, and not habitually.

Click here to watch on youtube.

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