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A Short Running Lesson With Dr. Nicholas Romanov, Part 2: Unweighting by Dr. Nicholas Romanov - CrossFit Journal

In Coaching, CrossFit Endurance, HD Videos, Running

September 21, 2012

Video Article

At the recent CrossFit Tour stop in Big Sky, Mont., Dr. Nicholas Romanov worked with Bret Ellis to improve his running form. In Part 2, the creator of the Pose Method teaches Ellis, owner and head trainer at CrossFit Rabid in Rainbow City, Ala., about “unweighting.”

“It’s a change of support. It’s a small pose,” Romanov explains.

The movement shouldn’t require any effort. Romanov notes that the arms aren’t involved. It’s about taking pressure off the ground and counterbalancing the feet with the shoulders.

“This is what Usain Bolt does and nobody else except him,” Romanov says. “The faster you run, the less effort we should see, because it’s falling.”

Essentially, faster running is faster falling.

“Don’t think about landing—it’s not your business,” he tells Ellis. “Gravity will pull you down.”

8min 12sec

HD file size: 189 MB
SD wmv file size: 98 MB
SD mov file size: 50 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Lessons From a Pose Seminar by Paul Eich, published Dec. 14, 2011.

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7 Comments on “A Short Running Lesson With Dr. Nicholas Romanov, Part 2: Unweighting”


wrote …

I'd like to watch Romanov breakdown a Usain Bolt video. His running style doesn't always look like what Romanov is talking about, especially the start. I think most people associate runner's being strong with the fact that Olympic sprinter's are jacked up with big arms and shoulders...

That being said, I'd also like to see him apply pose to Lebron James on the basketball court or Ray Rice running into any linebacker. No shoulders/arms? No push off? No planting your feet?

I'm clearly looking at running from an entirely different perspective.

Always interested to see more


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Matt, I was at one of Dr. Romanov's running certs and he spent a great deal of time breaking down Usain Bolt's videos. It was very interesting. It's not a video, but here is a nice article from his Pose site that he wrote about Usain.
I linked it from our site with the video of the actual race. It's w/f safe.

As far as the Lebron and Ray Rice analysis, I agree. That would be very interesting. He would probably get more into detail about how budyweight actually works. Dr. Romanov does a demonstration that proves that you can't push off (arms or legs) without using your bodyweight.


wrote …

Pose method is just as hard as taking the Dr. seriously.


wrote …

The Doc always seems to get very out of breath just doing a short jog. :o)

What I'd like to see is a computer simulation where the physics are modelled accurately and a demonstration made of how all the details that the Doc talks about actually make a difference to either the top speed of the simulated runner or the amount of energy saved through not pushing with the legs (ie. getting gravity to help as much as possible). If we can send a funky discovery vehicle to Mars, we ought to be able to do this.


wrote …

I've actually been working at implementing the pose method for several years at my home box. I was the first and am practically the only person doing it except the box owner. Here are my findings. It's not easy to implement. Especially if just teaching your self by watching videos. However, my form and my ability to implement this pose method have improved over time. Running is now practically rest time for me during a wod when it used to be a drudgery and a weak spot.

I've seen my self improve among the runners in our group, where I used to get smoked I am now, beating some of our runner dominant athletes in the runner portion of a wod and am less winded. I've had many examples of this over the last year.

I continue to work on the form, because the more relaxed and better I'm able to do the form the easier it is to run, and basically I hated running, so that's why I was willing to commit to this method. The "runners" in the group who used to make it look easy, and used to seem unbelievably fast are now looking labored.


wrote …

Bret- You are a great student. I just recently learned and was frustrated, overwhelmed and a little bit skeptical- until I found it! I felt that feeling of effortlessness and joy in the run. I had never had it before or felt anything like it. I must have been in perfect balance and the stars aligned because I quickly lost it and it was so hard to find again. I knew I just had to practice more to get it- like anything in life really. I drilled and drilled and stretche dand read until I really understood and could feel it. After a month, I am starting to run in pose naturally and I don't have to think about it as much. I've trained my body to do it and it's so enjoyable. I'm going to run drill tonight to do stairs- silently and fast. I look forward to miles to come.

For anyone who is just starting, don't give up. Study it and find a drill that works for you and stretch those ankles and calves. Strengthen your core muscles and keept trying. You WILL get it soon.


wrote …

I think the connection of unweighting, for a lot of people, is more commonly felt when doing olympic movements. The weightlessness is a lot more exaggerated when pulling a heavy object. With running it is hard to explain how unweighting can help. I don't fully understand it yet, but it definitely makes sense to me.

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