THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE I CAN GIVE IS TO ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES BEFORE EVERY RUN.
Repeated improper movement is the source of many “running” injuries, so getting the *right* muscles primed (activated!) prior to running is a bit of insurance against the niggles caused by our mostly-sedentary modern lifestyle.
Here are some tips to show how to do that (if you want more details, CONTACT ME for a session and we’ll make sure you know how to do them correctly!):
First, you need the tools. Here's the link for the mini-bands...this one is a set so you'll probably use the "Heavy" or "Xtra Heavy" version for your glute activation/strength. Get some here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DZWSF6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_R5Q9B90WNTQJN5AS6SGV
To perform the monster walk correctly, you must first isolate and engage the glutes (so the IT, hamstrings and quads are NOT activating); I start with a strong squat (demonstrated here by my friends at Competitive Edge): https://youtu.be/TK1Vkz-IlYA
From that squat position, start moving. Here's the detailed demo for the lateral monster walk: https://youtu.be/dgbhiejP7oI
Next, add forward and back steps…your glutes should be on fire! https://youtu.be/otrZdtPqJek
For pre-run activation, do 1 set of 10 steps in each direction, left, right, forward, back immediately before a run
For building glute strength, do 3 sets of 15 steps in each direction.
Here are some additional tips on correct (& incorrect!) motion: https://youtu.be/7C8mL0v976o (I dunno why, but I found this video kinda funny, but also instructive.)
SOME OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
The squat should "light up" those big glutes...then you keep the fire going for the monster walks
Weight should feel like it's evenly centered on your foot or even biased towards the heels (mostly on the toes means you're probably loading the quads...not the point of this exercise)
Keep the shins nearly vertical in a “hip hinge”
Knees stay well behind the toes
If you feel a twisting in your knees (or ankles) it means you're not driving from the glutes
Sit your butt back (like landing on a chair) to take the pressure off knees and quads
Keep the feet parallel, toes pointed forward
Movement should lead with the knee (or even the heel as suggested in the last video)...I like to keep my weight on the BACK foot as I step out (too much weight on the leading leg gives me balance problems)
Steps can be fairly small, less than hip-width is fine as long as there's pressure on the mini-band
Toes forward! (pointing the same direction as your hips & shoulders)
Don’t bounce! Hold that squat throughout the movement, your head should stay at the same level for all 10 steps
If this feels too easy, SQUAT DEEPER!
Glutes are the body's big movement muscles!
I've found that they can burn but they keep working, so you can do this exercise everyday!
And of course, one set before every run!