Fundamental Five – Postural Exercises for the Runner

A physical therapist instructs a patient in sports therapy exercise

Therapeutic Associates

How you move matters – at least as much as how fast you move.

A runner’s ability to maintain a relaxed posture and fluid running form goes beyond mileage, intensity, and strength.  Devoting time to develop the complex interactions of conscious postural awareness, stability, and mobility can become a catalyst for improving running economy and speed, and decreasing injury risk.  The Fundamental 5 focuses on just one of these components: a runner’s conscious postural awareness.  Successful runners train the ability to maintain great postural alignment and control – especially when fatigued – throughout the phases of a running gait.

The Fundamental 5 is a series of running specific motions aimed to challenge your balance and control.  Once mastered, one can progress the Fundamental 5  by adding more volume, then resistance and finally greater complexity and load.  Outlined below is the most basic form of the Fundamental 5 that we give (in some version) to almost all of our runners, elite and recreational. This as an adjunct, not a substitute, to your regular training, dynamic warm ups, lifting and mobility programs.

Pay close attention to form, as quality is critical!

Take the Fundamental 5 Challenge for a month:

Start with five repetitions of each motion and keep repeating the cycle for a total of 10 minutes. After two weeks , if you feel like you have got it dialed in, then increase the duration from 10 to 15 mins for the remaining two weeks.

While we won’t guarantee it, most people can see clear changes in form and efficiency after one month.  If it’s really hard at first (either because of the duration or control) try doing less repetitions or using a simple stick to support yourself.  If painful, or just plain doesn’t feel right, back off or modify, just be sensible.

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