How often do you practice running sideways? A quick office poll revealed a resounding collective “never.” What’s the point, you may ask, when the whole idea of running is to move forward? Well, if you’re interested in running with a strong, healthy body, running sideways can help with that. This is a drill to that requires runners to move from side-to-side instead of just forward, helping prevent injury and strengthen the small muscles that don’t get stressed much while training. Look for two main things as you’re going through the motion:
1. FEET FIRST
Keep your foot flexed (“loaded”), making sure there’s good side-to-side movement of the foot as you plant and take off. Using your foot’s full range of motion is important for using all the small muscles, as well as teaching your body to absorb shock while landing in an unfamiliar position.
2. WATCH YOUR SHOULDERS
Keep your shoulders and hips parallel, making sure that when you step sideways, your opposite shoulder doesn’t dip down. If it does, you might need to work on the range of motion in your hips, groin, and glutes.