I am a runner and I love CoreAlign. As an Olympic athlete it may be hard to believe that CoreAlign has taught me more about how to run and about my athletic strengths and weaknesses than any other form of exercise I have done to date. The exciting aspect of CoreAlign is that you can’t cheat. You can’t hide from your weaknesses and you can’t fake your strengths, or lack there of I soon found out.
Through CoreAlign I learned what is needed to get to the finish line stronger and faster without having to “try harder”.
CoreAlign is a set of hundreds of exercises incorporating every day functional movements that require the recruitment of the appropriate muscles, in sequence, to perform the task efficiently and correctly. Through what appears to be some basic exercises I have built a foundation of strength, balance and flexibility, all of which were previously lacking in my training program. This addition to my training program has a strong correlation with improved running performance and decreased running related injuries.
The principles and theory behind CoreAlign directly relate to running and running form. I have found them to be extremely beneficial in the following ways:
1. I have learned how to use the ground as a source of ENERGY, effectively moving me horizontally with a stronger, more powerful stride.
2. I have learned that being able to stand BALANCED and strong on one leg helps me be more stable while in the running stride, and more efficient in transferring my body weight to the other leg in the running stride pattern.
3. I have learned that SYMMETRY is important for overall performance. It lends to good technique especially in a fatigued state. Good technique creates efficiency in movement, which ultimately leads to faster times at easy efforts. Good symmetrical running technique/form needs to be executed repetitively over time or distance to avoid compensations that could lead to injuries.
4. I have learned that the small STABILIZING MUSCLES we often ignore in strength workouts are as important as the big powerhouse ones that make us move. Developing strong, correct and effective use of the stabilizing muscles can prevent some of the more common running injuries.
5. I have learned that STRENGTH is not necessarily defined by how many times I can lift my body weight but rather the ability to execute functional movements pain free with efficiency and then repeat.
6. I have learned that FLEXIBILITY is required for full range of motion in the running stride and it can prevent muscle tension leading to aches, pains and injuries.
7. I have learned that a STRONG CORE can be developed through all exercises and not just by doing sit-ups every day. Core strength is a functional necessity that cannot be ignored by any runner.
The exercises in CoreAlign have helped me become a more efficient, stronger runner with fewer injuries, which in the end, has been a far more enjoyable overall experience.
I have definitely gained a lot from CoreAlign by making it a part of my training schedule on a regular basis. I encourage you try it out and discover a deeper understanding of running, and of the running potential you never thought possible.
A Physical Therapist’s Point of View: by Angela Listug-Vap, Physical Therapist, Alpine Physical Therapy
The big picture to me is INJURY PREVENTION. The key to injury prevention is training the body to withstand the repetitive stress of running. In order to do this several areas must be addressed:
1. Good STRENGTH in both your power muscles and stabilizers. It is frequently weak stabilizing muscles in the trunk, hip and lower leg that lead to the most common running injuries including ITB syndrome, Patellar Tendinitis, and Plantar Fasciitis.
2. Maintaining good FLEXIBILITY and MOBILITY in your power muscles and lower extremity joints. With most running injuries tightness/stiffness in hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and/or ankle joints are playing a leading role.
3. Solid BALANCE REACTIONS are important so as you move from one leg to the other you’ll be able to react to all the changes in ground forces without a second thought. The best way to improve balance reactions is to practice.
4. Training your body to put all the above foundations together and use efficient MOVEMENT STRATEGIES to get the job done well.
CoreAlign is an exercise method that addresses all of the above in a functional position (standing) with the ability to use reciprocal gait patterns (moving legs in the same way we walk and run). It gives variety to the body so you won’t get bored. A CoreAlign class or session is a huge time saver for the runner trying to ‘get it all in’. Ideally one hour, twice a week and your body will reap all the benefits that a successful runner needs. From a PT perspective it is a training and rehab gem.
Try CoreAlign for yourself! The Core Studio offers free scheduled 15 minute demos or the first Monday of each month sign up for a free “Feel It First” hour-long class. Find out more information click here or call 406-541-2606 to reserve your spot.