When you’re running, you have to maintain your stride, arm swing, breath, and balance, all while navigating a world of distractions around you. Which means a crucial ingredient for a successful run is your coordination.
Coordination is your ability to move smoothly, quickly, and with control. And it’s actually something you can train through practice.
Enter: The Shoe. In Well+Good’s newest Trainer of the Month Club video, Barry’s trainer and marathon runner Sashah Handal will lead you through a series of exercises meant to strengthen and activate the muscles that are crucial for your run, including your core, quads, hamstrings, and more. But she’ll also challenge your coordination with the addition of a shoe that you’ll weave up, under, over, and through your body.
For example, you’ll do a lunge exercise, which is already working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. But you’ll pass the shoe under and over your bent front leg to add an extra dimension to the move.
“This pass through is just enough time to add a little bit of tension through that front leg and load up the muscles that you’re going to need once you start to run,” Handal says.
You’ll also thread the shoe under your side in side planks, weave it through your legs in a squat, press it out in front of you to activate your upper body, lift it above your hips to meet your leg in a side crunch, and more.
Of course, the shoe doesn’t have to be a literal shoe. You just need to grab something lightweight and small enough to comfortably hold in one hand. If you’re a runner, using a shoe just reminds you what your goal is.
“The shoe just makes it more exciting and more motivating to get you out the door and onto the pavement for your run,” Handal says.
In this case, three shoes are better than two!