Can’t touch your toes? Just as a general rule, you should be able to come very close. Hands flat on the floor looks cool but isn’t as important. Why can’t you touch your toes anyway, because you have tight hamstrings right? Wrong. See what Brett Jones has to say about that, and then let’s fix it. Read the article, watch the video, touch your toes and everyone is a winner.
This is a good little explanation about barefoot running. It sure makes sense to me. If there is one thing that I learned early on in the sports performance world when working with young athletes it’s that if you are heel striking then you are putting the breaks on, a.k.a. slowing down. Unless your goal is to slow down and decelerate then why heel strike? In my simple mind sprinting mechanics don’t differ from running mechanics other than the person sprinting is putting in more effort in a shorter time. Notice I said running mechanics and not jogging mechanics. Jogging is what a lot of people do for exercise and it does promote a heel strike because it is a much more relaxed and unfocused style. To those people I ask, what’s the reason to do it anyway? From a fat loss and cardiovascular perspective research has shown us that it is inferior to many other training styles. If you do it because you enjoy it, I’m alright with that. More power to you. But, as with anything overuse can become an issue and that is why so many runners have aches and pains. I’m not saying that you should take your shoes off and start running on pavement, but a gradual transition from thick-soled shoes to something thinner might not be a bad idea. Please keep in mind that progression is key.
Walk into any gym and it’s obvious that people love working on their abs. And, with good reason, they look cool when you can see them. So, as I’ve mentioned here before most exercises that the average person knows involve lots of flexion, extension and rotation, which isn’t the best or safest option. One exercise you should be doing is roll-outs. Whether with a ball, or the much more advanced version, using an ab wheel. Check out coach Eric Cressey with a thorough explanation.
More Core Training
Believe it or not this is one of my favorite ab exercises. Sure I would classify it as a lower body pulling movement and is great for your posterior chain (a.k.a. butt and hamstrings) but trust me, give it a try and when you progress to holding some real weight, you’ll know you abs are working.