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Roll up! Roll up! Test your spring strength here!

Step right up if you fancy testing your credentials to how a strong runner you are!

In our opinion, elastic exchange (spring strength) has to undeniably be one of the main contributers as to why our performance can be limited or why we get injured. If running is nothing more than a series of alternate hops from one leg to the other, our bodies (whilst dealing with gravitational forces) compress like a coiled spring to create and store energy for  when your body decompresses launching you back up again. And whilst gravity effects everyone, it's safe to say that different body shapes and weights changes this elastic exchange which can massively effect your running efficiency at an exponential level the further you run. Take gravity out of the question, zero downforce, no breaking phase, no inertia, no elastic exchange, no effort, no injury. 
(For the records - lack of gravity can significantly reduce bone density at a rate of about ten times that of osteoporosis and increase the risk of kidney stones. Just in case you saw a golden opportunity to change your running route!) 

How does your spring system change in different environments? You decide...

It's not only weight or body shape that can limited performance or cause injury. Any ground force reaction will change based on hundreds of different scenarios. What would happen to the spring system if it lands at an extended angle? What if your spring system is too soft and collapses too much on contact? What if your spring is too stiff allowing very little compression? What if you land on a soft porous surface? What if you didn't? How can cushioning improve or reduce your performance? What are some of the risks if choosing to abandon cushioning completely? What if you add a few of these together? You decide!

Spring strength is running strength and not how long you can plank for!

elastic exchange energy running

Spring strength is all about running strength and not about how much you can lift, squat or even how long you can plank. Running strength has got to be measured functionaly as to how the body deals with these alternate hops, loading and unloading elastic energy ... on one leg at a time! 
Brain strain warning! 
If you fancied travelling even further down the cerebal rabbit hole, your spring system can be broken down and measured in a variety of moments:

  • How far does your spring compress?
  • How quick does this happen?
  • What speed does it recover from compression to de-compression (recoil / return up)
  • How far does your spring de-compress?
  • How quick does this happen?

These ranges of measurements are part of what's referred to as 'elastic exchange' (as shown in a screen grab above). Without knowing this information, it can be a minefield of trial and errors (and often endless physio trips) to work out how best you should be training or even rehabilitating a recurring injury. The above screen grab also demonstrates one of the ways we can improve your elastic energy by adjusting the position of your centre line of mass by mildly reducing an excessive forward lean. 

Don't take our word for it, this is Newton's law of universal gravitation!

klang!   This approach can't be classed as one of the many new fashionable band wagon theories, as this stuff was first published by Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica back in 1686! This information is only coming to 21st century fruition as it's the technology has advanced to a point where health professionals like us can now invest in such software to help us understand what really creates training plateaus and injuries. Prior to this, we've been limited to relying on moulding people to run in a particular style based on what the professionals do. With such accurate evidence based information, we can now guide you towards considering which surface you're best suited for, potentially the style of running you're best adaptable too, we can also now safely recommend which 'type'  of running shoe is best for you, and more importantly, which ones to certainly avoid! 

To conclude - Foundations are the roots to performance and injury free running. Foundations start with looking at your 'elastic exchange'. Knowing your relationship with your spring system vs gravity (alongside other forces) will allow us to prescribe the most accurate conditioning program, bespoke to you. At prices from £129, this investment could end up being far cheaper than the price of rehabilitation for just one season! Call now and book your visit today!

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