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Ashley Arnold November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 2

Free Falling - Page 3

Gravitational Pull

Three exercises from trail running's top ranks to help you conquer downhills:

  • Max King says: Work on Turnover. While Newton's Law is there to assist you, speed work is still helpful. "Start by working on a fast turnover and under-body foot placement going down a wide, mellow dirt hill," says King. "This will help you with foot coordination before committing to high speed on a steep, technical downhill."
  • Nikki Kimball says: Work on Core Strength. Twisted ankles and ankle sprains are common injuries resulting from downhill running. "Several studies show increased incidence of ankle sprains among athletes with weak hips, particularly the gluteus muscles," Kimball says. "Be sure to do at least two core sessions, including hips, each week."
  • Dave Mackey Says: Practice Makes Perfect. As with any skill, the best way to improve is through repetition. Mackey, also an avid rock climber, offers this advice: "In rock climbing, there are patterns called engrams that help climbers learn repetitive movements. When the same movement is performed over and over, the climber intuitively recognizes the pattern when he or she encounters it on a climb. The same goes for downhill running—practice tech-y downhill and your mind will record similar movements."


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