Mechanics Mechanics Mechanics

Workout of the day for Tuesday June 4th, 2013:

Skill: (12 min Cap)
100 L-Pull-ups
10 Rounds:
10 Pull-up Strict
Accumulate 30s. L-Sit

21-15-9 reps of:
Clean 135 pounds
Ring dips


Carl Paoli Push-up Position

From Carl Paoli:

Another great post from @NateHelming in regards to running and strength and conditioning. “Running becomes…well…a tiring affair, just like sitting or standing for long periods of time. When we tire we lose focus. And when we lose focus we slump. As our parents used to tell us, sitting or standing up straight does make a difference.
So what is that difference exactly? When we are upright, our shoulders more easily sit in their proper “shelf” without any excess effort. When the shoulders are in their proper place, the elbows more easily swing forwards and backwards for a taller, less twisty run posture and faster run times. Easy. But when we slump, our shoulders dump forwards and our elbow trajectory shifts side to side. This side-to-side motion forces us to battle that excess rotation we previously discussed, and spend way more energy than we would have to just to run slower. Not good if we want a faster marathon.
The good news: we can train uprightness and shoulder position, once again, with our pushup. When executed with the proper intention, the pushup develops the positional strength and endurance to stabilize the upper back for longer periods of time. By screwing our hands into the ground and keeping our elbows by our rib cage, we can train shoulder stability and resist the internal rotation and flared elbows that happens with fatigue.

So here’s the test. Can you do 15 butt-squeezed full range of motion pushups? Good. Now can you do them with elbows in and hold for 3 seconds? Better. So go ahead. Check your posture, test your pushups, and watch your arm swing. You’ll be surprised by the change you can make.”




@natehelming: “If you’re body’s a vehicle, better learn how to drive it.” At least that’s what @CarlPaoli tells me. This could not be more relevant than when it comes to foot position in running and squatting. How and where do these two activities connect? Well as the running gets fast and long, the squatting must get deep and heavy. Speed in running equals load in squatting.

But ever try squatting heavy or running fast with your feet turned way out? It can be done but it’s neither “pretty” nor “speedy.”

But fear not: fixing our foot position in the squat helps us fix our foot position on the run. Start squatting deep and heavy with your toes more forward and you will soon be running with your feet pointing in the direction you want to go. So go practice. With some driving lessons pretty soon you’ll be to squat heavy and run fast. Or in other words: have your cake and eat it too.”


This week @natehelming and I are back to tackle one of the greatest challenges of running: off axis loading also known as unilateral loading. Up until now, we have looked at mechanical breakdowns in our feet, posture, and arm swing individually. In this post, we will discuss how and why they all unfortunately come together.

As runners, we spend all our time either in the air or on one foot or the other. When we land, we must be aligned, stable, and strong. If we aren’t, our hips tend to drop and spin away, causing loss of stability at hip level. The knees then dive in, the feet turn out, and our upper body has to spend more mechanical energy to make up the difference. Unilateral loading is hard!

So what’s the key to fixing this problem? For that split second when our foot lands, we must resist this hip drop and hip spin from our torso. To demonstrate these rotational forces at play, you can practice and test by hanging from a pull up bar with both arms. Now let one arm go and see what happens? If you are relaxed, your opposite shoulder drops and rotates away.

Try again. Only this time, squeeze your butt and belly tight. This should stop your body from rotating away and help create a stable shoulder position. When your foot hits the ground, you must learn to do the same! Learn to resist the rotation and you’ll be the faster for it.

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