I’ve often heard it said that you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe. The phrase seemingly dates to naval warfare from the 1800s, but the expression has been popular with fitness instructors and personal trainers who maintain that to “fire a cannon” (build strong arms and legs) you can’t do it from “a canoe ” (if you have weak core and hip stabilizers, and feet). This analogy rings especially true with running.

To run efficiently and without injury, you need a strong, stable, and mobile base.  This involves a complex combination of unconscious movements that take place with every running step.

The web is loaded with videos on core training and strength work. Most runners though fail to put these videos in context for what their individual needs are.  Stability is about strength and balance from the ground up; this is why most get it wrong by focusing on abdominals, usually with isolation (sit ups) and do not connect it with functional movement.

And while many videos focus exclusively on the running form, what is often missing from them is a look at “chassis” issues; how your body supports and responds to natural running.

Laura Bergmann demonstrates a stability exercise.

So  here at Two Rivers Treads and the Natural Running Center, we decided to make a video that concentrates on improving stability and mobility. See above for video.

Our new training video has three objectives:

1. This video is targeted to you as a runner trying to learn better form.

2. It will help you identify weaknesses and restrictions in your kinetic chain and give you some simple corrective exercises you can do at home.

3. These exercises are taught and practiced by us at Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, so we know they are easy to learn and effective with minimal time investment.

Showing you the stability and mobility exercises in this video are Athletic Trainer Laura Bergmann and Physical Therapy student Brad Dodson.

Laura, who has a Master’s degree in exercise science, is a world-class duathlete and Crossfit Endurance Coach. She is a popular member of our Two Rivers Treads’ team teaching clinics and mentoring the community in healthy running and movement.

Brad Dodson is one of the emerging leaders in natural running. He was a 4:07 miler at the University of Delaware, where he obtained a B.S. in Exercise Science. He is also an accomplished triathlete.  An unfortunate series of severe injuries led to his discovery of healthy natural running principles.  He finishes his physical therapy degree this Spring and will be teaching and spreading the” run-injury-free” message here locally in West Virginia and elsewhere in the health care community.

Finally, a special thanks to our video producer Dave Ehrenberg who put this all together.