3 Priorities to Build a Stronger Spring for Running

Running Rewired by Jay Dicharry

A solid plan to build a better spring doesn’t have to be grueling or time-consuming, explains Running Rewired author Jay Dicharry.

It also doesn’t have to feature muscle confusion, muscle occlusion, or a host of other trendy terminology. We will use the process of overload of fundamental movements to demand more from your body in a calculated way, and your body will respond. To achieve run-specific gains, you will need to practice the movements that will achieve these three objectives:

1. Produce horizontal force with a powerful deadlift pattern. This includes front-to-back movements that engage the powerful muscles around the hips.

2. Produce vertical force with a fluid squat pattern. This involves mostly up-and-down movements that split the work between the muscles around the knees and the hips.

3. Establish 3D postural control in the core. Moving heavy loads requires the core to be engaged, anchoring the legs and upper body.

Every movement fits into one of these three categories. And every movement has a specific purpose: to improve your running.

Variety and repetition are the building blocks of motor learning and skill development. When you become stronger, your preferred muscle recruitment shifts from the front side of your body to the backside of your body. This allows you to maintain better postural control and put more drive into your gait. Some truly magical things happen to your running form once you change what your body is capable of achieving.

Running Rewired includes 83 exercises and 15 Rewire Workouts that are designed in part to help you build a stronger spring for higher performance running. For now, let’s take a look at three exercises that meet our three goals above: horizontal force, vertical force, and 3D postural control.