Can Running, Can Movement, Make us better Humans ?

This will be the last blog post you read from us …  for 2012. It is a rehash of our Dec 31st, 2011 blog post but we felt it was worthy of a year-end repeat.  It seemed to bring together many good points and thoughts. We hope you agree.

It has been an amazing year for both of us here at The Gait Guys. Through this year, we have bridged many chasms. We restarted our podcasts, put out the National Shoe Fit Certification Program, blogged most days of the week, added many new videos and made many new friends while learning much on our own end in our relentless research and readings. We appreciate every one of you who has followed us, and we thank you for your friendship.

Today, we would like you all to watch this video and then more importantly read what we have paraphrased below. As we find ourselves here at the end of another year, it is normal to look back and see our path to growth but to look forward to plan for ways to further develop our growth.  Many of you who read our blog are runners, but many of you are also extensions of running. What we mean by that is many of you are coaches or trainers who develop those who run in one way or another in various sports, but many of you are also in the medical field helping those to run and move to get out of pain or improve performance.  And still yet we have discovered that some of you are in the fields of bodywork such as yoga, pilates, dance and movement therapies.  It is perhaps these fields that we at The Gait Guys are least experienced at (but are learning) and like many others we find ourselves drawn to that which we are unaware and wish to know more in the hope that it will expand and improve that which we do regularly.  For many of you that is also likely the case.  For example, since a number of you are runners we would bet to say that you have taken up yoga or pilates or cross training to improve your running and to reduce or manage injuries or limitations in your body. But why stop there ? So, here today, we will try to slowly bring you full circle into other fields of advanced movement. As you can see in this modern dance video above the grace, skill, endurance, strength, flexibility and awareness are amazing and beautiful.  Wouldn’t you like to see them in a sporting event ? Wouldn’t you like to see them run ? Aren’t you at least curious ? Their movements are so effortless. Are yours in your chosen sport ? How would they be at soccer? How would they be at gymnastics ? Martial arts ? Do you know that some of the greatest martial artists were first dancers ? Did you know that Bruce Lee was the Cha Cha Dance Champion of Hong Kong ? He is only one of many. Dance, martial arts, gymnastics …  all some of the most complex body movements that exist. And none of them simple, taking years to master, but most of which none of us can do. In 2012 we will continue to expand your horizons of these advanced movement practices as our horizons expand. From 3 years of personal study, we already have been experimenting with some of the advanced foot and body movements of dance, incorporating many aspects into our treatment and exercise regimens for our patients, runners and multi-sport athletes. Using things like the latin dance (primarily rumba and salsa) movements to strengthen the hips, core and feet and borrowing from the Cha Cha to improve foot side and cross over step speed and accuracy in some of our NCAA basketball and European soccer players. Even using some of the smooth footwork in the waltz and foxtrot to increase awareness of rear, mid and forefoot strike patterns and the development of rigid and mobile foot positions in our speed athletes.  Why not use this knowledge?  Many of our athletes do not even know their exercises homework are from basic dance principles, until we tell them at the end of a session.  There is a reason why some of the best athletes in the NBA, NFL and other sports have turned to almost secret study of dance and martial arts because there is huge value in it.  Look at any gymnast, martial artist or dancer. Look at their body, their posture, their grace.  It is as if their bodies know something that ours do not.  And so, The Gait Guys will dive even deeper into these professions to learn principles and bring them back to you. After all, everything we do is about movement. Movement is after all what keeps the brain alive. 

Below are excerpts from a great article from Kimerer Lamothe, PhD. She wrote a wonderful article in Psychology Today (link is at the top) on her experience with McDougall’s book “Born to Run” and how she translated it into something more.  Below you will find some exerpts from her work. But at some point, take the time to read the whole article.  But do not cut yourself short now, you only have a little more reading below, take the next 2 minutes, it might change your life, or at least your next run.

We will leave you hear now for 2012 with our gratitude for this great growing brethren and community that is unfolding at The Gait Guys. We have great plans for 2013 so stay with us, grow with us, and continue to learn and improve your own body and those that you work with.  Again, read Kimerer’s excerpts below, for now, and watch the amazing body demonstrations in the video above. It will be worth it.

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Can Running Make us Better Humans ?….. excerpts from the artcle by Kimerer LaMothe.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-body-knows/201109/can-running-make-us-better-humans

The Tarahumara are not only Running People, they are also Dancing People. Like other people who practice endurance running, such as the Kalahari Kung, dancing occupies a central place in Tarahumara culture. Or at least, it has. The Tarahumara dance to pray, to celebrate life passages, to mark seasonal and religious events. They dance outside where Father God and Mother Moon can see, in patterns consisting of steps and shuffles, taps and hops, performed in a line or a circle with others. And they dance the night before a long running race, while the native corn beer, or tesguino flows.

While McDougall notes the irony of “partying” the night before a race, he doesn’t ask the question: might the dancing actually serve the running? Might it be that the Tarahumara dance in order to run—to ensure the success of their run—for themselves and for the community?

At the very least, the fact that the Tarahumara dance when and how they do is evidence that they live in a world where bodily movement matters. They believe that how they move their bodies matters to who they are and to how life happens. They have survived as a people by adapting their traditional method of endurance hunting (running animals to exhaustion) to the challenges of fleeing Spanish invaders, accessing inaccessible wilderness, and staying in touch with one another while scattered throughout its canyons. As McDougall notes, they have kept alive an ancient genetic human heritage: to love running is to love life, for running enables life.

Yet McDougall is also clear: even the Tarahumara are not born knowing how to run. Like all humans, they must learn. Even though human bodies are designed to flourish when subject to the stresses of long distance loping, we still need to learn how to coordinate our limbs to allow that growth to happen. We must learn to run with head up, carriage straight, and toes reaching for the ground. We must land softly and roll inwardly, before snapping our heels behind us. We must learn to glide—easy, light, smooth—uphill and down, breathing through it all. How do we learn?

How do we learn to run? We learn by paying attention to other people, and taking note of the movements they are making. We learn by cultivating a sensory awareness of our own movements, noting the pain and pleasure they produce, and finding ways to adjust. We learn by creating and becoming patterns of movement that release our energy boldly and efficiently across space. We learn, in a word, by dancing.

While dancing, people open up their sensory selves and play with movement possibilities. The rhythm marks a time and space of exploration. Moving with another heightens the energy available for it. Learning and repeating sequences of steps exercises a human’s most fundamental creativity, operating at a sensory level, that enables us to learn to make any movement in any realm of endeavor with precision and grace. Even the movements of love. Dancing, people affirm for themselves and with each other that movement matters.

In this sense, dancing before the night of a running race makes perfect sense. Moving in time with one another, stepping and stretching in proximity to one another, the Tarahumara would affirm what is true for them: they learn from one another how to run.  They learn to run for one another. They run with one another. And when they race, they give each other the chance to learn how to be the best that they each can be, for the good of all.

It may be that the dancing is what gives the running its meaning, and makes it matter.

Yet the link with dance suggests another response as well. In order for running to emerge in human practice as something we are born to do, we need a culture that values movement—that is, we need a general appreciation that and how the bodily movements we make matter. It is an appreciation that our modern western culture lacks. 

Those of us raised in the modern west grow up in human-built worlds. We wake up in static boxes, packed with still, stale air, largely impervious to wind and rain and light. We pride ourselves at being able to sit while others move food, fuel, clothing, and other goods for us. We train ourselves not to move, not to notice movement, and not to want to move. We are so good at recreating the movement patterns we perceive that we grow as stationary as the walls around us (or take drugs to help us).

Yet we are desperate for movement, and seek to calm our agitated senses by turning on the TV, checking email, or twisting the radio dial to get movement in a frame, on demand. It isn’t enough. Without the sensory stimulation provided by the experiences of moving with other people in the infinite motility of the natural world, we lose touch with the movement of our own bodily selves. We forget that we are born to dance and run and run and dance.

The movements that we make make us. We feel the results. Riddled with injury and illness, paralyzed by fears, and dizzy with exhaustion, our bodily selves call us to remember that where, how, and with whom we move matters. We need to remember that how we move our bodies matters to the thoughts we think, the feelings we feel, the futures we can imagine, and the relationships we can create with ourselves, one another, and the earth.

Without this consciousness, we won’t be able to appreciate what the Tarahumara know: that the dancing and the running go hand in hand as mutually enabling expressions of a worldview in which movement matters.

Thanks for a great article Kimerer. (entire article here) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-body-knows/201109/can-running-make-us-better-humans

Wishing a Happy New Year to you all, from our hearts……. Shawn and Ivo

The Gait Guys

Hiya Gait Guys! I have cross over gait…watched your vids on adopting new style of running (imaginary lines etc) and want to introduce the new way of running i.e. not running on a tightrope!! How quickly can I introduce this new method? I currently run 20 miles per week, generally 3-6 mile runs. I am doing some hip and glute medius strengthening at the same time. Do I introduce it a few miles at a time as I realise it will be working new muscles and how cautious should I be? Thanks

hi !

We will answer this in podcast 19

should launch this week !

thanks for your great question

The Gait Guys

Podcast #18: Treadmills, ‘Shrooms & Santa

If you do not split a gut laughing by the time the band plays there is something wrong with you ! Who says gait stuff isn’t entertaining !
Perhaps our best podcast to date ? You decide.

Permalink URL
http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/pod-18-treadmills-shrooms-santa

itunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

Topics: Treadmills, neuroreceptors, foot types, hip biomechanixcs, gait cycle

Neuroscience piece link:

http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/3136.html

1. from Eric on our FB page:

a. Had a 9yr old girl for a shoe fitting recently. She had a forefoot valgus, with a rearfoot that is neutral or slightly varus. Fairly high arch and rigid Midfoot for a child that age as well. usually a child’s foot is super flexible so this makes me wonder if it’s a compensation for a true FF varus. How do I tell if he has an anatomic FF valgus vs a compensated version?

b. I asked Blaise Dubois his opinion on Treadmill vs outdoor running and he mentioned that the literature indicates TM’s aren’t much different than outdoor. He cites (Wank 1998). To me, running feels completely different and I can’t run nearly as efficiently on a TM as outdoor. i know some people are the opposite, which i subscribe to specificity of training.

the question i have is what basis do you use for your opinion on different motor patterns? i agree with you, but the literature seems to disagree. this is a piece from cybex so of course it will be “pro-treadmill”, but they quote several studies that concur with Wank… http://media.cybexintl.com/cybexinstitute/research/Truth_on_Fit_Apr10.pdf

hope i’m not sending too many questions. i figure you can ignore them if you have too many from other listeners.

http://media.cybexintl.com/cybexinstitute/research/Truth_on_Fit_Apr10.pdf
media.cybexintl.com
2. On the Hip Bio Pt 6 you mention ext rot leg to gain leg length.  This one has been racking my brain.  I could see how this could happen if the person supinates the foot at the same time, but is there some other external rotating mechanism occurring in the hip that would cause this lengthening?  Thanks,Ryan

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Hi Gait Guys,

I am a chiropractor in South Africa, and find gait, biomechanics and running fascinating…I’m hoping to become a true gait geek one day.Reading your blog has taught me so much, you guys seem to look at gait from every angle and don’t take things at face value.

I would like to find out about your Shoe Fit Certification Program. Can people from outside the USA complete the course? Would I be able to take the exam online? and would it give me any creditation in South Africa

 Hope to hear from you soon.

 Regards, Claire

3. I have been watching your video’s on you tube.  I have a cavus foot in which I have had severe nerve pain, why is the high arch caused by nerve pain?

And would any of your exercises help with my nerve pain

Thanks,Wendy

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4. Hi guys,
Found your youtube channel. Very interesting stuff. Have started reading up on the whole gait cycle. Its very interesting.
I have a quick question that I hope that you can help me with:
Are you aware of any correlation of hip impingement (cam/pincer) in terms of having an irregular gait cycle?
I am suffering from both CAM & PINCER impingement in my right hip. Had surgery in January, but they did not shave sufficiently off the bone, so going back to surgery soon.
I am therefore interested in seeing how surgery possible could help me with bettering my walk and strain on my lower back / leg / foot. And also in terms of looking into some theory on how to retrain myself in walking cycles.
The problem is, that this kind of rehab/research is not available here in Denmark. So would appreciate if you are aware of any research on the above, and would be able to point me in the direction of that.
Thank you – and keep those great videos coming. 🙂
Best,
Terje (Denmark)

Are old running shoes detrimental to your feet? Here is some research.

Are old running shoes detrimental to your feet? A pedobarographic study.

by: Rethnam U, Makwana N.

STUDY BACKGROUND: “Footwear characteristics have been implicated in fatigue and foot pain. The recommended time for changing running shoes is every 500 miles. The aim of our study was to assess and compare plantar peak pressures and pressure time integrals in new and old running shoes.”

CONCLUSION:

“Plantar pressure measurements in general were higher in NEW running shoes. This could be due to the lack of flexibility in new running shoes. The risk of injury to the foot and ankle would appear to be higher if running shoes are changed frequently. We recommend breaking into new running shoes slowly using them for mild physical activity.”

What do The Gait Guys say ? Did you read our post yesterday on this very topic ? Here is the link.  Never let a pair of shoes get too old before breaking in a new pair. The old shoes can be just as much of a problem as the new shoes.  Old shoes break down the foam into possible detrimental biomechanical patterns that can promote overstress to areas and create injury. A new shoe can be stiffer and thus change your biomechanics away from what is clean function for you.

So what is the solution ? If you read our blog post yesterday you know the answer (see #5 in yesterday’s blog post). LINK  (Blog post December 5th, 2012).

Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys

BMC Res Notes. 2011 Aug 24;4:307.

Are old running shoes detrimental to your feet? A pedobarographic study.

Source

Department of Orthopaedics, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, UK. ulfinr@yahoo.com.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21864342

Turkey Training:

“A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.”

http://thanksgiving.aristotle.net/turkey-facts

The Gait Guys Response: Well of course they can. Look at hat hip extension! Wow, they must have some Creatine Phosphate stores!

Have a great bird, everyone!

Ivo and Shawn

Podcast #16: Monkeys, Newton Shoes & Gait Vision

Gait, running, Newton Shoes, Forefoot Strike, Gait Software, limb torsion problems, foot tripod and lots more !

LINK: http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-16-monkeys-newtons-gait-vision

Join us today for the following topic list and show note links:

Links to DVD’s & e-downloads: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

1- scars of evolution:

Bigfoot blog post:    http://thegaitguys.tumblr.com/day/2011/11/05

Why gait must be taught slowly. Even running gait must be taught slowly.

2- email from a reader

wondering if you had any internal femoral torsion videos? I have been looking online and noticed most of the articles were on children with IFT. I have internal femoral rotation, a “winking patella” and I believe an externally rotated tibia? I am a runner and I am trying to find some more info on my awesome gait:) As you can imagine, I have had my fair share of injuries from running (hip, knee, and foot) and I have tried foam rolling but I am hoping you have some other recommendations

3- The Almighty Foot Tripod exercise – good for pronation of the foot

4- DISCLAIMER: We are not your doctors so anything you hear here should not be taken as medical advice. For that you need to visit YOUR doctors and ask them the questions. We have not examined you, we do not know you, we know very little about your medical status. So, do not hold us responsible for taking our advice when we have just told you not to !  Again, we are NOT your doctors

5- Blog post we liked recently:  Perception/vision and Gait analysis software.

http://thegaitguys.tumblr.com/search/vision

2 blog posts here…….review them before the pod

The Observation Effect:   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

6- SHOE TALK:   Skora Shoes
7- Our dvd’s and efile downloads
Are all on payloadz. Link is in the show notes.
Link: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

Podcast #14: Forefoot Strike & Evolution

Podcast #14

Here is the live link:   http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/webpage

iTunes will load it likely by the afternoon. Find it on iTunes through this link:

__________________________________________

Payloadz link for our DVD’s and efile downloads: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

1- National Shoe Fit Program and Certification

2- email from a reader
from: Mikkel
I am currently treating a 15-year-old boy who as a child suffered from left sided equinovarus deformity and was operated. His left gastoc/soleus complex is underdeveloped, and he has impaired ankle rocker due to bony limitations anteriorly in the mortise joint causing anterior ankle pain when running and jumping. He has a distinct limp on the left leg due to decreased ROM and pain. He has an inverted calcaneus and forefoot valgus deformity on both feet (left more than right). He pronates heavily through the mid and forefoot to progress forward. Treatment thus far has had limited effect on the pain symptoms. I’ve manually mobilized the tibiotalar joint with posterior glides of the talus + given him exercises to strengthen the anterior compartment.
Would you consider orthotics? I’m thinking stability shoe with medial arch support maybe with a forefoot drop. Normally I would prefer stability and strength training and foot tripod exercises, but due to bone structure I have started to think, this isn’t enough. The pain limits him from running and playing soccer.
How would acupuncture fit into a treatment program in this case? which points could you recommend?
Any additional info and inspiration is welcomed.
kind regards – Mikkel

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_foot

2- Know your foot strike
http://sweatscience.runnersworld.com/2012/10/do-you-know-your-footstrike/

3- Caffeine: A PED ?

http://news.menshealth.com/chew-gum-before-races/2012/04/12/

Chew on this: Caffeinated gum can improve your athletic performance—if you start chewing it at the right moment, finds a new study from Kent State University.

 http://www.energyfiend.com/the-caffeine-database

4- DISCLAIMER:We are not your doctors so anything you hear here should not be taken as medical advice. For that you need to visit YOUR doctors and ask them the questions. We have not examined you, we do not know you, we know very little about your medical status. So, do not hold us responsible for taking our advice when we have just told you not to !  Again, we are NOT your doctors !

5: more lectures available  on www.onlineCE.com   Go there and look up our lectures

6- EMAIL FROM A Blog follower: 
Why do some muscles go weak and others not ?
First lets talk about tightness vs shortness. We are getting exhausted from always hearing about tight piriformis, psoas hip flexors and IT Bands.
Now, lets define 2 types of weakness…….
a- physiologic /  disuse
b- neurlogic inhibition

7- Our dvd’s and efile downloads
Are all on payloadz. Link is in the show notes.
Link: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

8 – Creatine:
 http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/11/creatine-myths-and-facts/

9- The one perfect test for a runner ?
 http://news.menshealth.com/find-your-perfect-running-pace/2012/10/14/
The Talk Test
Researchers for the study put 18 well trained cyclists through two identical fitness tests. In one test they measured the above thresholds with traditional medical equipment. In the second test they asked cyclists to say a paragraph while exercising. What they found was that the cyclists’ “out-of-breathness” matched the thresholds. “From our standpoint, the TT is very useful and almost ‘idiot-proof,’” Foster says.