Runner’s Beware: you may be missing a big piece of the picture in your training!
HEAD STRONG: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
POSTURE, FASCIA, & RUNNING
The human head weighs ~12 pounds.
It is a commonly and widely known fact. But true as that fact may be (fact checker: it’s true), we don’t all know the FULL story. It’s time to get our heavy heads out of the dark so we can see the light.
The truth is that the human head only weighs 12 pounds if we have perfect posture. Considering most of us sit at desks all day with our necks craned forward, chances are, most of us have posture that needs some (or a lot of) work, and have heads that are weighing us down.
If you’re a runner, you will want to pay particular attention to this= because your bad posture is making you slower. Here’s the scoop:
For every inch you crane your neck forward and out of alignment, your 12-pound head gains 10 pounds!
Now consider that in terms of running, which is already hard enough on your body. In fact, the impact of every heel strike is equal to 4 times your body weight! So if you’re already dealing with that weight, and you don’t have your head in proper alignment with your spine, you could be potentially be adding 42+ extra pounds to every step you take. Ouch.
You know that extra weight is creating some terrible future (and likely current) chronic problems for you, but in the short term (and more pertinent to your personal best), it’s slowing you down. Way down.
Don’t you want to have a personal best at your next race? You certainly train like you do. You eat right, do interval training, suffer while running up some nasty hills, and get plenty of sleep. Essentially, you’re doing everything right. But if you haven’t considered where you hold your head both during the course of a regular work day as well as out on your training runs, you’re missing a giant piece of the puzzle.
Let’s make that right, shall we?
Melissa Putt, nutrition & fascial expert and former elite runner, can give your readers a quick, at home test to determine just where you stand (no pun intended). From there, she’s got 3 moves you can do before every run to get your head screwed back on straight:
1. Supine Neck Curl:
Lay on your back. Allow the chin to first gut up, then draw the chin down and lengthen the posterior neck. Hesitate into the position. Lastly curl the head and neck off the floor. Take 10seconds to complete the routine. Repeat 6-12x.
2. Neck Retractions:
Lay on the floor with legs straight. Connect as much of the spine to the floor as possible. Inhale and draw the chin down towards the adams apple. Hold the load for 15seconds. Repeat 6-12x.
3. Shoulder grip stretch:
Stand with feet firmly planted. Reach one arm over the head and the other behind the back. Attempt to grasp hands. If able, tug the top arm down and the bottom arm up. Hold 60 seconds. If unable to touch join the hands with a towel and add the tension up and down.
I wanted to share this info because if you are like me, I need any help I can get when it comes to running! I will most definitely make a mental note during my runs to keep my head and posture in line! Do you have any tips that you would like to share, I am all ears!!!!
For more information on our contributor, Melissa Putt, visit http://healthyhabits.ca/