Last week it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was walking in a particularly active part of town and observed a woman run by me. It was horrible. I looked up to find a man crossing the street ahead of me doing a similarly bad rendition of jogging, as well. Then, to my left, I witnessed a whole gaggle of people doing fitness via running all with a masochistic gait. The staggering truth is virtually no one knows how to run. Read that line again. In fact, no offense here, but I’d bet you, the reader, have completely unacceptable running form as far as your health is concerned. Yet, we almost unanimously reserve the conversations about form for the weight room and running because a safe place for sweat. It’s not. While I’ve known this to be true for some time and the injury rates are there to prove it, I’d never been more convicted.
Gross movement pattern faults from, breaking at the hip, crossing over, reaching, heel striking, valgus knee faults, bounding, vertical oscillation, and a host of others that are par for the course in a weekend warrior. Unlike other fitness practices, these faults happen over the course of hundred of thousands of reps (or steps). This isn’t somehow more OK than a rounded back deadlift, people. In many ways, the (lack of) feedback we get being able to run from Point A to Point B without bursting into flames seems to lull us to sleep that we’re moving OK, but you’re not.
Here’s the thing. These people not knowing how or being unequivocally poor at something isn’t the real crime here. Look, millions of people have a horrible jump shot (and I’m one of them), and it makes virtually no difference to me. The real trouble here is the way in which many people would tell you they can’t shoot a three pointer for a damn and their deadlift is a liability and that gymnastics ring work is out of their league, but running? “Oh, I can run,” they’ll say.
Look, brothers and sisters, no you can’t.
Here’s why this matters. While I do believe that moving poorly around a barbell is risky, I’m here to tell you that if you make an amateur mistake on a barbell the risk is generally a tweak that could put you out for a several weeks. What scares me is that the blatant disregard for the notion that running, too, is a skill opens people up for injury that lies mostly dormant until it puts you out forever.
Before this turns into fear mongering, I’d like you to hear one thing. Movement is a beautiful thing. Respect it as a skill and I think we’d all take more ownership in our fitness practices. Ironically, I find that runners in particular need the most humbling sometimes.
Complete 4 rounds for quality of:
4 Strict Muscle Ups
6 Strict Handstand Pushups
8 Alt Cartwheels
Then, AMRAP 8
8 Deadlifts (315/225)
8 Box Jumps (30/24)