why are injuries such an accepted part of running?
In the video below I talk about a discussion I had with a few of my clients on my running boot camp. The conversation was about how they believed that if you run you just need to put up with niggles and injuries and par for the course.
Unfortunately, stats show that they are right, at least 50% of all runners will get at least 1 injury per year that prevents them from running for a period of time.
In my mind, this is simply not acceptable. Why on earth does a sport that has no outside interference from other participants, involves almost zero rapid direction changes and has so much money invested in shoes and equipment to prevent injury have such a huge incidents of injury?
Well it's simple, in my mind there are 4 reasons. Check out the video below for my top 4 ways to avoid running injury so you can train with more consistency, get stronger and faster.
Faster running boot camp
If you would like some help with your running technique and you would like to learn strength and conditioning techniques that will help prevent injury and turn you into a more efficient runner, then why not hit the button below to find out more about my Faster Running Boot Camp.
So this is something I see a lot in the fitness industry. Planks being performed incorrectly, even when taught by personal trainers. People's posture is all wrong, either their ass is too high in the air, meaning they get very little benefit from the movement or their hips are sagging in the middle, putting a great deal of pressure on the lumbar spine.
In the video I share with you a great little adjustment, where you can really target your abs and improve your strength and stability in the plank position.
WARNING! THIS WILL CAUSE YOUR ABS TO WORK VERY HARD
Over the weekend I participated in a discussion about stride length on the Running Discussion Board on Facebook. Basically it was about a keen runner who wanted to increase his stride.
There was a bit of a mixture of advice if I am honest. Some good, some not so good but it did give me a great idea for a blog post so I think everyone is a winner.
Heel Strike, Forefoot or Mid-Foot?
One of the things this post did spark was the whole debate about which part of your foot should be hitting the ground first. Let me tell you now, it really does not matter. You can land on any part of your foot you want, none of the options make you more or less prone to injury.
So what does make a difference?
Firstly, DO NOT try to artificially lengthen your stride. You will end up like the guy in the photo on the right. Over-reaching and landing on the back of your heel underneath a straight leg. This loads up your joints instead of your muscles and has been proven to be a contributing factor to knee injury, shin splints, hip tendon injuries and lower back pain among runners.
How To Fix Over-striding
Unfortunately this type of gait is very very common. It doesn't have to be permanent though. It can easily be fixed with some perseverance and a couple of simple gait tweaks.
All of the following are visible when you compare the 2 runners from the above photo...
1. Run Tall
Keep your head up, look straight forward and stay relaxed through your shoulders. Being tall will actually help you improve forward momentum.
2. Lift your knees and toes up slightly.
Add in a slightly higher knee lift like the guy on the left. While you are doing this, think about also pulling your toes upwards. This will give you a bit more air time and allow you to land underneath yourself more, making more of a mid-foot ground contact with a flexed knee rather than out in front of you under a straight knee
3. Use your arms
Do this by driving your elbows backwards in a natural running motion. I know this sounds daft but it will help you transfer momentum and core strength into your legs and actually drive you forward.
Give these a go for the next 3-4 weeks when you are out on your runs. You should immediately feel like you have more forward momentum and that you are running lighter and not impacting the ground as heavily
faster running Boot Camp
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS AT 7:15PM
£25 PER MONTH (FIRST SESSION IS FREE)
This is not a turn up, do some running and go home sort of session. Instead, each session on the boot camp is designed to help you develop a fluid and efficient running gait that will make you run faster and help you avoid injury.
It is perfect for beginners who want to make that initial start and for intermediate runners who want to get a bit stronger and improve their running style. Each session is run by a personal trainer and sports injury therapist who is a specialists in running gait training. You will be encouraged to work and develop at your own pace throughout the program so don't worry about competing with anyone else just turn up and let me help you enjoy running without having to worry about those pesky injuries holding you back.
Hit the button below to find out more
So now Christmas and New Year are finally over, the race is on to get in shape, lose weight and get stronger. As a trainer with well over 10 years experience I have found that its not about the dietary or training advice you give someone, its the all about the belief you can instill in someone to take the steps needed to get results.
With this in mind, here are my top 5 tips to help you be successful in dropping weight and finally getting the real results you always wanted.
1. Avoid using the word diet
To me this means that you are looking at a temporary fix that is more than likely not going to last. It puts you in the mindset of denying yourself things you think are making you fat. You start in a negative mindset already, which means you will fail! Instead, think of it as a lifestyle change. I try to get my clients to think about the good stuff they will be adding to their nutrition rather than what they are taking out. Things that will give them more energy and benefit their health.
2. Make small changes
This will ensure your success and avoid you getting overloaded and bored with a program. Start by making sure you eat breakfast or targeting 2L of water every day. Then focus on how much better these changes have made you feel and how much more energy you now have. Once you feel like you have mastered these, move on to some other changes, like adding a source of good, lean protein to every meal to help you balance you blood sugar levels better.
3. Make a habit of being more active
Make a point of moving at least 10 mins per day, this could be going for a walk or playing with your kids. If you are embarking on a gym program, then this needs to be the most important appointment you have every single week. Book your training times in to your diary and make them set in stone. The only reason you cancel a session is because of a family emergency or you have been in an accident and almost died. Get yourself to the gym and quit making excuses!
4. Be accountable to someone other than yourself
This will help with motivation. Get a training buddy or hire a trainer. Basically someone to share your goals with that can support you and help you out when you need it.
5. Don't Beat Yourself Up
This is a big one. You must understand that your journey to better health will not be straight forward, there will be blips and there will be time you fall off the wagon a bit. The best thing you can do is to forget about it. Get yourself back on the horse and continue to work on mastering your mini targets.
14 day kick Start programs
If you would like a little extra help with this, why not send in an application for my 14 Day Kick Start Program. These are aimed at men and women over 30 who want to get the help and support they need to make positive changes to their body and mind.
The Kick Start Programs are an amazingly cost effective way of experiencing exactly what I do here at Faster Fitness Solutions. They are also a great way to help you get yourself motivated and ready to tackle your health and fitness challenges in 2018.
I have been running these programs over in Liverpool with amazing success. Clients have been getting as good if not better results than many of my 1:1 personal training clients. I think the reason is all about the sense of teamwork and support we are able to build with the small group training. Not only will you get all the help and support you need from me as a coach, you will also get 3 training busies that will spur you on and keep you on track.
Hit the button below to find out more and send me over an application.
Check out the video below to see some of the results we have been able to get with my client Steve. Over the past few months Steve has been able to transform the way he moves and thinks about food and exercise.
Even while suffering from MD all down the left hand side of his body, he has made significant improvements in his health and well-being and transformed the way he moves and functions.
We still have a long way to go with Steve but I am delighted with his progress so far...
Check out the video below to view my Faster Fat Loss Circuit. This is a great resource that is perfect for you guys who don't really like the gym and would prefer to train at home.
All you need is a pull up bar and a box and your ready to go. Keep the intensity of all the movements high and make sure you watch the credits section a t the end of the video that will give you instructions into how to perform the workout for optimum results.
I hope you enjoy the video.
Hopefully you enjoyed the workout in the video. If this looks like the type of training that you would enjoy and you have been considering hiring an online coach, why not give our free 21 Day Shred Faster Challege a try. Its a 21 Day program that will get you dropping around 10lbs while improving your overall strength and fitness.
Hit the button below to find out more and sign up.
In the video below I take you through some of my top mobility drills to help mobilise your ankles and hips to allow you to squat deeper, keep good form and ultimately go heavier.
I know the squat is a pretty individual exercise with everyone having slightly different mechanics and compensatory patterns, so while these drills may not work for everyone, they have proven to be a really effective base in helping a lot of my clients get better at squatting.
Integrate them into your warm and perform them regularly for best results and please let me know how you get on in the comments below.
See you next time, Darren
As a follow on from the faster-six-pack-solutions.html blog post I wrote a few weeks ago I though I would put this short video together to give you a few more ideas of the type of movements and exercises I use with my clients to create a stronger and more functional core.
There are literally thousands more movement variations to access but here is a run through of my top 5.
Give them a go and comment in the box below to let me know what you think.
This is something I talk to my face to face clients about a great deal. Especially when they ask me questions like…
“Why don’t we stretch at the end of the session?”
“Shouldn’t we do a warm down so I don’t ache as much?”
The fact of the matter is simple
“STRETCHING AT THE END OF YOUR TRAINING SESSION IS A WASTE OF TIME AND PROBABLY WILL MAKE YOU MORE SORE”
Now as with all the articles I write, this is not just me making stuff up because it suits my purpose. There is a pretty significant amount of evidence around to suggest that this is the case. Check out the links in the reference list at the end of the post to take a look at some of the most up to date research on this subject.
Warm Up Versus Cool Down
So having read the introduction, I’m pretty sure you know where I am going with this one and I will get straight to the point. The warm up is potentially the most important part of your training session and should take up about a third of your training time.
At Faster Fitness Solutions, we are a big advocate of short sharp and intense training sessions to build muscle and drop fat. Our average sessions last around 45 mins so 15 minutes of this will be dedicated to a warm up. Why? Because a well thought out warm up that includes dynamic stretching with a gradual build up in intensity has been proven to improve functional performance (power output, speed, strength and co-ordination) as well as helping you to avoid injury.
I just Want to train to get leaner and more muscular. How does this affect me?
Well the answer to this one is simple. In order to get you more muscular, help you to reduce body fat and help you look more defined we need to be achieving 2 things.
1. We need to get you performing to the best of your ability in every training session. Giving you the ability to lift more, produce more power and go through bigger ranges of motion in all your exercises will ensure you get greater benefits from your training.
2. We need to keep your training consistent and keep you injury free. Being persistent and consistent with your training will ensure you can keep on getting better. Keeping you injury free is a massive part of that. A superior quality mobility and warm up routine will ensure you can achieve optimal technique for all the exercises in your program, making sure you target the right muscles and preventing you from getting injured.
Post Stretching and DOMS
Magrath, Whitehead and Caine, 2014
Herbert, Noronha, Kamper, 2011
Dawson et al, 2005
Dynamic Stretching and the warm up
Ramachandran et al, 2014
Herman et al, 2008
Little and Williams, 2006
Macmillian et al, 2006
21 Day Shred Faster Challenge
This is our amazing free taster program and a great way for you to see what we are all about. Our 21 Day Shred Faster Challenge is completely FREE will provide you with all the focus and direction you need to give your training a huge kick start.
The program is packed full of amazing recipes, workouts, meal plans and high quality coaching to ensure you get your training on track and stay motivated throughout the program and beyond.
Hit the button below to find out more and get started...
How integrated training will help you get a six pack without having to spend ages doing crunches or leg raises
At Faster Fitness Solutions we specialise in helping guys who are short on time get quick and effective workout that helps them maximise their results. With this in mind, I thought I would ask the question…
Do we really need to be wasting time lying down and training our abs at the end of a workout?
Now there is nothing wrong with doing this other than the fact that it isn’t very time efficient also, when we look at the relationship between traditional core stability exercises and their effect on athletic performance the research doesn’t really support their effectiveness. In fact most of the research suggests that traditional core training may only play a slight role in performance improvements but certainly does not warrant spending a significant amount of time on (Okada et al 2011, Shamrock et al 2011, Thomas, Nesser and William 2009).
So, let’s be straight, I am not saying the core isn’t important and if we are honest, we all want a six pack don’t we? What I am saying is there are ways of integrating and training your core in far more functional ways that you can directly include in your workout. By simply adding some movement and functional tweaks into your training you can target your core while still getting great strength and muscle building training into the rest of your body.
Check out the video below where I take you through an uneven barbell training matrix that will not only give you a great six pack but also give you a great shoulder and leg workout in a very small amount of time. So there will be no need to waste time on endless crunches, planking or sit ups.
Uneven Barbell Matrix
If you enjoyed the video and would like to take advantage of our amazing special offer, why not give our FREE 21 Day Shred Faster Challenge a go?
Hit the link below to find out more and get started
Darren has over 10 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, sports injury therapist and most recently as an educator to other trainers. Originally from South Wales, he went to Liverpool University to study Sports Science and liked the city so much, he decided to stay. Since finishing his degree he set up a thriving personal training and injury rehab business which continues to this day. He has recently moved over to Denby Dale in West Yorkshire and has opened Faster Fitness Solutions, a multi-purpose training and rehabilitation facility located in the heart of the village.