Like many of you, I am someone who has often neglected the “extracurricular” work related to my training. I love to run, but I do not always love to do core, strength training, form drills, foam rolling, stretching etc. I have gotten more consistent over the years with the above but there is certainly room for improvement. That being said, I have managed to avoid missing any significant time due to injury. The extent of my injuries over the past 8 years of training for endurance events has been limited to one bout of Achilles tendinitis and some minor ankle sprains. Bottom line, I have been lucky.
Over the past year I have realized that a gap in my knowledge base as an athlete and as a coach is around injury prevention and physical therapy. I have spoken with people who are in those fields and done my own research to learn more about these topics, but I know there is a lot more to learn. So, when I was approached by Prehab USA to participate in their ambassador program, I jumped on the opportunity. The first step was to go through their process myself. I submitted videos of me running from both sides, the back and the front and set up a time to speak with Alex Gometz and Susie Lunardi at Prehab to virtually review my gait analysis and go through an orthopedic assessment.
Alex and Susie at Prehab had me perform a variety of different exercises to test my flexibility, mobility, stability, strength and balance. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to go through the orthopedic assessment via zoom in the comfort of my own home. We then spent the next 30 minutes reviewing in detail what they had seen both in the assessment and in my gait analysis. It was eye opening. I am an experienced and decently accomplished endurance athlete who has been basically injury free in my career and yet I have so much to work on! While this could be looked at as a negative, they reassured me that making a few minor adjustments to my stride and adding in a consistent prehabilitation and strength routine I can become a more efficient runner and therefore shave significant time off of my PR’s!
I was blown away by what they were able to diagnose over a video call. They had me do a few rotational exercises and were able to assess that I have some restriction in my spine, hips, or knees that is limiting my rotation and likely leads to some compensatory motions while running. By having me perform a side plank for an extended period of time and a single leg bridge hold they were able to assess that I have restricted glute medius strength and is leading to me compensating with a muscle called the QL in my lower back. The list goes on and on in incredible detail. From struggling in a single leg balance with my eyes closed that signals a proprioceptive impairment to performing toe exercises that revealed weakness in the small muscles in my feet that help stabilize the arch and assist in the push-off phase of each stride. The whole process was very enlightening.
Afterwards I received a written report from Prehab with the results and observations and I also received an entire program of specific exercises to work into my routine to strengthen and improve on the areas that need some work.
A friend and fellow Prehab ambassador, Coach Kai, recently shared this notion with me. He said, we must first learn to do something correct and then we can become consistent at it. Individuals who run, in my opinion, are the biggest violators of this. So many runners I know have spent very little time working on their stride through exercises, stretching, strength and drills. Runners seem to think, I am not an elite runner why does it matter? Well, I can assure you, if you want to stay healthy and be able to run long term, learning to run as efficiently as possible is THE KEY! You can only get so far on your own, if you want to fast track your progress to becoming a stronger, healthier and more efficient runner, schedule a gait analysis and orthopedic assessment with Prehab is the way to go. I guarantee you will see results. I certainly have.
To schedule your gait analysis with Prehab CLICK HERE! And use promo code TUCKER10 for 10% off your analysis and orthopedic assessment!