Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Alphabet Routine for Ankles, Knees, and Hips

Here is a good little exercise called the Alphabet Routine. It comes from coach Jay Johnson. Anything that helps the ankle, knee, and hips is good for me and hopefully will help with my alignment, balance, and running economy. Notice that is it the standing leg that is doing the work. It is like a more intensive version of some Z-Health drills. All of which are meant to improve your neuromuscular system.

The best set of running specific exercises and drills that I have seen are Jay Johnson's "Building a Better Runner: Building from the Ground Up" DVD's 1 and 2. Jay sent me the DVD's back before Christmas as I helped him a bit as he was putting them together. I have gone through his preview DVD's a couple of times each to check them over but there is so much in these DVD's to learn and try that I have been reluctant to add the routines to my own running just yet. I have done a few of the routines but I believe I am not fully ready for them yet and will save them for when I get my hips fully working and in balance (I am getting closer!).

The exercises include Preventive Routines, General Strength and Warm-Ups. There is so much to pick and choose from and I believe these are geared for strong runners on up to elite runners. In fact Olympian Christian Smith demonstrates many of the routines. If you are looking to advance your running to new levels of strength you can check out more on these DVDs here. On this post last fall I discussed one of the DVDs.

UPDATE: One thing I forget about the DVDs (and there are two DVD's in each DVD pack) is that the videos are also in Ipod and Windows format. It was easy to copy the videos onto my Ipod Touch so I can more ealily play them wherever I am. So now I have started working through a few of the drills and routines slowly as I learn what may work best for me.

Here is a video of Christian Smith that shows how he made the Olympic team.

and after the dive.

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