Monday, May 26, 2014

RunnerDude's Weekly Exercise: Dolphin to Elbow Plank

Planks are an effective way for runners to build core strength. However, as effective as they may be, they can also be rather boring to do. The following is a twist on the traditional front plank that decreases the boredom and increases the difficulty level.

To being, position yourself in a front plank with your hands resting on a mat and both arms fully extended. Extend your legs behind your (knees locked) with your toes resting on two glider discs (paper plates work well too). Check to make sure that your mid section isn't hiked up (your butt should be in line with your shoulders and heels). Keeping your body in a straight diagonal line, bend your right elbow until your forearm is resting on the mat. Then do the same with the left arm. As you bend your arms your body will slide back on the glider discs. Then, engage your core and extend your right arm then left arm (your legs will slide back in) until your back a the start position with your arms fully extended. Repeat this motion for 15 seconds, then switch to lowering the left arm first followed by the right for another 15 seconds.

For a better visual of the exercise, check out the video clip below.

RunnerDude's Weekly Exercise: Dolphin to Elbow Plank from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.

For more exercises for runners, be sure to check out RunnerDude's new book Full-Body Fitness for Runners.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

RunnerDude's Weekly Exericse: Prone Cobra

The core is the power source of your running. Within the core is the spine, the hub of life for the central nervous system. The prone cobra exercise below helps improve your ability to stabilize your spine. Spine stabilization is essential to any sport and running is no different. Not only does this simple but awesome exercise help with spine stabilization, it also works the entire core, including the lower back, your abdominal muscles and hip muscles. The upper-back between the shoulders also gets some action.

To do the exercise, lie facedown on a mat with your arms by your sides and your legs straight behind you. Next engage your glutes and lower back muscles to lift your legs off the floor while simultaneously lifting your head, chest, and both arms up off the mat toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a 3-count. Then relax as you return your legs, arms, chest, and head back to the mat. That's one rep. Continue 3-count lifts for 30 seconds.

For more exercises for runners, check out RunnerDude's new book 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Trouble Keeping Laces Tied? Try ClickTight!

The cool thing about the Internet is the ability to connect with people all over the world. I've made awesome friends in the UK, Australia, Canada, Brazil (just to name a few) and now the Netherlands. A few months back Jurriën Theuvenet, the owner and founder of ClickTight Innovations contacted me about testing out a new product--ClickTight. I'm always game for testing new running related gear, so I told him to send me the ClickTights.

What is ClickTight? It's a new little device that you slip on your laces which keeps them secure and prevents them for coming untied. Oddly enough, the idea for the product didn't sprout out of a running related need, instead it was the result of finding a way to keep a surfer's boardshorts from coming off. 

While surfing in Mexico, Jurriën realized that the only way to keep his boardshorts from falling off was to double-knot its laces. This also meant a cumbersome knot pressing in his stomach while lying flat on the board. On the beach, he drew some initial designs of a flat lace-lock system.
As soon as the first prototypes where made Jurriën realized this technology had wider applications, particularly for athletes who habitually use a double-knot to tie their shoelaces. Tying shoelaces is one thing; untying another, and a nuisance after a sport activity. 

Back in Amsterdam Jurriën met up with Hans Koeleman to further the design. Hans Koeleman is a freethinker who believes there is a creative solution to every problem on earth. Educated at universities in the United States, the arenas of two Olympic Games and the work floor at Nike, he is embedded with a fairly impatient drive for excellence and innovation. Thankfully he recognized the immense potential of ClickTight and became a crucial contributor to its further development.

My ClickTights arrived in the mail and I immediately began testing them out. They are very simple to put on your shoes and the nice thing is once they are on, they're on. You don't have to take them on and off. There are three different ways you can use the ClickTights with your laces. I chose the traditional bow look. To tighten the laces you simply lift the ClickTight flap, pull on both sides of the bow, and then push down on the ClickTight flap until it clicks securing the laces in pace. I tested the ClickTights on numerous runs and have not experienced any issues with the flap coming "unclicked." Everything stays in place and when it's time to take off the shoes, you simply lift the flap and pull up slightly on the ClickTight unit to loosen the laces and then you're ready to slip off the shoes. It's really that simple.

ClickTights aren't available in stores just yet. To get a pair head over to the ClickTight Kickstarter page and a pledge of $15 or more will enable you to get one pair of ClickTights. You can choose from the basic Black/White ClickTight, a color ClickTight (5 colors to choose from), the ROPARUN ClickTight, or choose from one of the Challenger ClickTights (5K, 10K, 22.1K, or 42.2K)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

RunnerDude's Weekly Exercise: Resistance Tube Front Raise Lat Raise

Often overlooked, the upper-body plays an important part in helping maintain good running posture. This is particularly true on longer runs. The more muscular endurance a runner has in the upper body, the longer he/she will maintain good posture delaying the onset of fatigue.

To do the exercise, grasp the handles of a resistance tube. Step on the center of the tube with both feet. Begin with your hands down by your thighs (1). Keeping the arms fully extended (no bend at the elbow), raise both arms straight in front of you until they are parallel with the floor (2). With controlled movement, lower your arms back to your thighs. Keeping your arms fully extended, raise both arms out to the side until they are both parallel to the floor (3). That's one rep. Shoot for 10-12 or 12-15 reps.
Tip: For more resistance, stand on the tube with your feet wider apart. For less resistance, stand with your feet closer together or just stand on the tube with one foot.

For more exercises for runners check out RunnerDude's new book Full-Body Fitness for Runners.