Bracing Exercises for Barefoot Running Prep

I teach people the Squat-Scoot method of mid-foot running for many reasons. One of the most important is that in order to run like this safely & efficiently, you MUST learn how to BRACE. By doing so, you lock in the concept of ‘tight, light, compact, forward’ – the foundations of successful barefoot running.

Here are a few exercises you can do virtually do anywhere without any fancy equipment:

* the basic brace – lie on back. extend 1 leg out, keep other leg bent @ 90% with foot on floor. forcefully contract your core (mid-chest to mid-thigh of extended leg). raise upper body no more than 1″, keeping head & neck parallel  to floor. Place hand of bent leg under small of back. You should be able to pull hand out during bracing action. Hold for split second & lower upper body. Repeat to other side.  Work up to 10 reps be leg

* the Airplane – balance on 1 leg. Extend arms to side as if flying. Compress core as tightly as possible (feel as if you’re squeezing into a box). Rotate in flying motion slowly to 1 side, moving torso to head as one. Stop when you are looking to the ceiling, hold & return. Repeat on other leg. Do 4 reps per leg. Keep the core braced throughout

* the Quad Squat – balance on 1 leg. Again, compress the whole core.  Slide the other leg in front of you whilst squatting to a 4 count. The knee of your support leg should lower in line over your 2nd. toe. Return to upright. Brace again & slide the foot to the side.  Continue as above. Repeat the above action & slide foot directly behind you. Finally, to complete the Quad,  wrap your leg around the support leg as you squat. Return to upright. Repeat the Quad 3 times per leg

Start with these daily & you’ll notice a significant improvement in your running balance & body positioning. More to follow…!!

coach Jeff


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