The human body is no different than a wheel and must function by the same laws of physics, says Brian MacKenzie of CrossFit Endurance.
To get the body trained in this manner, MacKenzie runs a group of athletes through a series of drills at CrossFit HQ in Scotts Valley, Calif. The first uses sets of hops and then “leaning hops” to help the athletes understand gravity’s role in running. Another drill involves leaning forward and focusing on quickly pulling the heel underneath the hip after the trailing leg leaves the ground.
“So every single person—whether they run well or they run like shit—is gonna essentially get to the same position, which is where that foot’s underneath your hip and you’ve got one foot underneath your general center of mass,” MacKenzie explains.
The goal is to create positions that maximize efficiency and prevent heel striking, which translates into hitting the brakes.
“The drill’s purpose is to get you to rewire and understand exactly where you should be pulling to,” MacKenzie says.
Video by Eric Maciel and Tyson Oldroyd.
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Additional reading: The Basics of Pose Running Techniques by Brian MacKenzie, published Dec. 1, 2007.