Improve Your Running Performance with Functional Training

How can you improve your running performance with functional training. Personal coach Sofie Renier subjects Kevin to a test and shows some effective exercises that you can do yourself at home.
14-12-2014 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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Sofie, as a runner, what kind of exercises do I have to do to improve my running?


Everyone knows that running has a high impact on the body: the back, the knees, everything. Also: if your body is not in a perfect balance, your hips will twist off to one side or go lower to one side... So we have to take exercises where stability is a priority. We're going to start with one. We'll use the Bosu for this one. The Bosu is like a ball; very unstable, so your body has to work much harder to keep stability up.


And if you don't have such a thing? 


You can start on a small platform or the stairs or just on the floor, just to start with the exercise. 


Okay, and what do we do with it?


You're going to do a lunge; a step forward. Foot in the middle of the Bosu. Like this? The back knee straight to the floor, and then you push yourself up...


On this leg? 


On that leg yes, hup and allez-hop! And you stay straight; you keep your body in balance. 


That's not easy.


No, it's not easy, I know. So the thing is, you have to squeeze your abs. Focus on the back, focus on the sides of your body. Everything has to be working. Okay, let's try that again. Okay, up and push up, yes. Okay, you can keep your hands in your waist so that you... The best is of course to do it in front of the mirror, then you can see; you check yourself every time. And your hands, they give a reference to see if it's quite stable... Squeeze the abs. 


Are there other things we can try?


We're going to use that, both of them, I put the Bosu aside. 


Just put them here?


Okay, you're going to start on one side, one cushion. 


Oh, that's unstable. 


It's more unstable than the Bosu. You try to keep your balance; stay stable, squeeze your abs, squeeze here, okay. Now you lower; you bend your knee, stay straight, hands in the waist, come up. Then you change position and switch to the other side. And up. And again. If you're just starting with these kinds of exercises, it's impossible to do a lot of repetitions, so you start with only 10; three series of 10. If you're advanced then you do like three times of 20.


And is there something else we can do? 


Sure there is, you can take a kettlebell, the yellow one. In running, not only in running, but in the human body the front is always more developed than the backside because of the use of the body. So for running, they often have an unbalance from the back. So we're going to do an exercise where the back chain is working very hard. You take the kettlebell with both hands, you again do a lunge to the front, and you place the kettlebell down in front of your foot. Okay, and then you come back. And coming back you do by pushing on your glutes. Do you feel that the backside is working? 




And in the meantime, also you work on the lower back. Yeah, it's the whole chain that is working.