// Build yourself an injury-proof running body with ViPR
by Michol Dalcourt
While the health benefi ts of running have been well documented over the years, so has the rapid increase in the
incidence of injuries. Various studies have estimated that up to 70% of runners suffer a running injury every year.
Working on training some key areas of the body will not only help prevent common injuries but will also improve
running performance. ViPR is a whole-body training tool that can help condition these areas using integrated/triplane loaded movement to elicit ‘movement strength’.
An evolution of fixed and free weights programming, the ViPR – which stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning – takes the form of moulded rubber tubes in seven weights (4 to 20kg). Its innovation lies in its complete flexibility and original design, which allows for total body programming by mimicking the utility of seven existing tools (barbell, dumbbell, Kettlebell, stability ball, medicine ball, balance device and speed ladder).
You’d be amazed how many people forget their feet when assessing their performance. Biomechanically, the foot, when PREPARATION
properly functioning, will absorb and redistribute forces in the body. A properly working foot will store energy and dissipate ground force. Like many structures, it first receives energy from the ground. It absorbs the energy and also decelerates the force being put into it.
Training the foot with the ViPR is easy. Remember to maintain an athletic stance throughout the exercises.
STAGGERED STANCE WITH MEDIAL LOW REACH
• Maintain a tall spine throughout this movement to load through the hips.
• Only choose a range of motion that can be controlled.
• Maintain a staggered and athletic stance throughout this movement.
• Start in a standing position (photo 1) and reach to the opposite side of the forward leg (along the frontal plane).
• As the reach occurs, ensure that the back remains tall and that you flex and adduct from the hip (photo 2).
• Return to a fully standing position before initiating the subsequent rep.
• Use the front carry hold.
• It is crucial to maintain a straight back to ensure that the hips are properly loaded.
• Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, looking straight ahead.
• With one leg planted fi rmly, take the other foot and perform an in-turn step (photo 3). Ensure that the knees
follow the line of the feet.
• Next, perform an out-turn with the active foot and plant (photo 4). Perform a squat from that foot position.
• Step into the turn again and repeat the sequence rhythmically.
Runners seldom think of their bum when running (unless they happen to trip and fall on it) but the glutes collectively form a fan shape of muscles that provide vast stability and power. They protect the knee, hip and spine but need the foot to work properly so that they can do their job. Remember when I said that the foot redistributes forces into the body? Well, if the foot has an issue, then the butt has an issue: the glues cannot get the load they need to work properly if the forces being exerted up from the feet aren’t distributed correctly.
• Begin with the ViPR in front of the hips.
• Maintain a straight back to ensure that the hips are properly loaded.
• Step laterally to the ground and plant feet fi rmly down with three points of contact (big toe, little toe and heel).
• With the opposite hand, reach across the body at knee height (photo 5).
• Decelerate through the hips and push off to start position.
• Move to the other side by stepping with the opposite foot laterally and repeating the step above (photo 6).
ANTERIOR LUNGE WITH MULTI-PLANAR REACHES
• Use the grip shown in photo shown.
• Begin with the ViPR at hip height.
• There are three distinct reaches to perform.
• Take a comfortable step forward (self-selected range of motion).
• Firmly plant the lead foot on the ground, reaching forward to a self-selected range of motion (photo 7).
• Return back to the original position.
• Repeat the step and reach laterally on the same side as the forward leg.
• Repeat again and reach laterally to the opposite direction to the forward leg (photo 8).
• Begin with the neutral shovel grip hold (as shown).
• Begin with feet wider than shoulder width and keep them active throughout the exercise.
• The movement mimics a shovelling pattern.
• Begin by reaching with the levered end towards the trail leg at a low height (photo 9).
• From this ‘loaded’ position, rotate the hips and reach to a high finish position (photo 10).
• Ensure the hips are rotating and the feet are active during the movement.
Michol Dalcourt NETWORK MAGAZINE • AUTUMN 2010
Michol is an educator, author, trainer, inventor and industry leader in the areas of human movement and per formance training. As a personal trainer, he has worked with athletes of all levels, from college pitchers to professional hockey and lacrosse players and Olympic gold medallists. Michol works with trainers and therapists in San Diego, California.
NETWORK MAGAZINE • AUTUMN 2010