Whether you’re a beginner or have multiple marathons under your belt, everyone can always improve their running technique. Most runners that come see Liliana at EDX Bodyworks are surprised to find out that running requires single leg stability.
If you have a hard time standing on one leg, then you have no business running until you can. That’s why any single leg balance and stability exercises you can add into your exercise routine will help with your running. One of these exercises is the Vertical Bird Dog. When done on all fours it’s great for core stability, but the standing version is great for runners because it gets you to also balance on one leg while still challenging your core.
The Vertical Bird Dog is explained in the article “Vertical Bird Dog,” written by Dan John, Master RKC. It is simple in theory and challenging in practice. It’s helpful for people who have core stability issues, low back pain, are post-partum, runners, and other athletes.
The exercise is to stand on one leg while holding the opposite arm overhead. The other arm (on the same side as the leg that is lifted) will hold a weight. You can then lift your knee to your opposite elbow, or simply lower everything down and start again. Feel free to play with this variation, adding bands and using different movements, like making circles with your arms and/or legs, to see what it does to your core and make it work for you!