#Squat-Scoot: 1 key to #InjuryFreeRunnning #Barefoot

One of the most asked questions of me is “how do you get clients to run injury-free?”

It’s a complicated question with a multi-pronged answer that I will attempt to simplify. I have spent the better part of 35 years perfecting a technique that allows my clients to not only run injury-free BUT also with more efficiency and power than ever before. Both my academic and practical background focused on how the body moves in space and how to safely improve said movement for maximum results.

The end result is my Squat-Scoot technique of mid foot running. In a nutshell, it is learning how to run Tight, Light, Compact and Forward over ANY distance and at ANY pace. I happen to believe that there IS a scientific, structured way to run that ensures you become and remain injury-free.

The main culprit in almost every running injury that I see is GRAVITY.

Once the body is air-borne, it comes down to earth with a THUD – the downward effect of garvity. Done repeatedly kilometre after kilometre, you are guaranteed to develop what I call avoidable running ‘itis’ injuries.

The second main culprit is a total lack of proprioceptive firing from the feet through the rest of the body  (see for a scientifically proven way to accomplish this) – this helps you square up, stay balanced and use ALL of your running muscles as they were designed to work.

Let me list a few techniques that can help you lock onto the Squat-Scoot and finally run injury-free:

the fall forward drill. Stand barefoot on the balls of your feet with knees bent to at least 115 degrees. Brace your whole core and hold it braced. Fall forward and land one foot slightly ahead of the other – just as you sense falling on your face. Quickly bring the other foot forward just ahead of the lead foot. Repeat the quick turnover action for about 20 strides. Do this until you lock onto the quick, light, compact action.

the quick cadence drill. This is best done barefoot on a track infield or a similar surface. Time yourself for 60 seconds and count every other footfall. After the minute, multiply the number by 2 and you have the number of foot strikes per minute. With the Squat-Scoot, I like my runners to average 200 foot strikes per minute minimum and build up to maintaining this over any distance. The drill forces you to stay compact, light and forward.

the 1-legged box hop. Do this barefoot in front of a full length mirror. Outline a box with tape on the floor not more than 6″x6″. You MUST keep the core braced and the hips square. Hop on 1 leg to each corner of the square. Continue for 60 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. The keys are to land the whole body over the foot with each hop and cushion the impact by letting the knee bend slightly lower than normal on impact. Repeat on the other leg.

the forward crossover quick step. Run forward barefoot BUT quickly cross the right foot over the left followed by the left over the right. Do this as rapidly as you are able on a track or field or straight stretch of road for 60 seconds x 10 reps. This forces you to land forward, light and compact with a rapid fire foot turnover. You cannot do the drill without bracing and centering throughout.


These are but a few of the drills I use to help my clients learn the Squat-Scoot on their path to injury-free running. Put them into practice and join my cast of injury-free runners!

coach Jeff





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