Effective running exercises
In this article, we want to see 5 types of running exercises for beginners.
- Do stretching before starting (read Basic soft stretching and How to correctly perform stretching)
- If we are already able to run more than 6 minutes and if we do not exaggerate with the intensity (speed, height difference, obstacles, etc.) these exercises can be performed as a warm-up (read How to correctly perform warm-up)
- Train safely, do not train what is in pain and do not exaggerate, especially at the beginning and when the path provides for the lifting of the feet beyond the height of the knee (jumps, obstacles, ladders, etc., read Safe training: the 3 errors rule)
- If we are overweight or completely out of practice we can reduce the difficulty (distance, time and obstacles)
- Running must be synchronized with correct breathing (read The 6DKF s combat breathing)
- Let’s do not run without the right shoes (especially if we run long and / or are not used to it)
Exercise 1: the sprung walk
In its basic version, this exercise is for those who are totally out of shape (those who have knee problems, are overweight, have never practiced running, etc.):
- We do a step forward and we completely attach the sole of the shoes on the ground
- With both feet constantly on the ground, we bounce on our knees up and down 3 times (like a rapid vibration)
- Then we do the next step and doing the same thing we go forward or backward
- It is like a normal walk but it should be done with the right intensity and speed
- This practice is also useful to train a good mobile fighting stance (read )
A note by Master Kongling – Let’s do not perform the subsequent running exercises if we have problems even with this one. You have all the time: be gradual.
Exercise 2: running dominated by the breath
This exercise is perfect to learn to sync and manage your breathing in relation to your movements:
- We have to run normally, at the speed we want
- If possible, we have to breath with the nose only (read The 6DKF’s combat breathing)
- We must control our pace syncing the breathing with our speed and muscle chain (read A breathing exercise to develop the 6DKF’s muscle chain)
- With the warrior’s breathing, our nose should make the sound of an ancient steam train and move consequently
- When we want to accelerate we simply have to breath faster and vice-versa to slow down (let’s do not exaggerate with the speed and the amount of air assumption)
Exercise 3: a “variation” of the skip
This exercise is good to learn to the mechanics of the striking (read How to kick (simple explanation)):
- We have to run on a straight line
- We must move forward as slowly as possible
- The goal is to raise the knees higher and as quickly as possible
- We try to keep the body straight on the line of the center of gravity and the legs as much parallels as possible
- In the meaning time, our shoulders should rotate accordingly on the Y-axis (as to throw small hook punches)
Exercise 4: gorilla running
This exercise is good to develop the muscle chain and to promote the contact with the ground:
- Let us stand squatting with our feet and hands on the ground
- We must not face frontally towards the direction in which we want to move
- The non-dominant knee is facing forward and the other sideways
- 75% of the weight is on the hands and both are more forward than the foot of the non-dominant knee
- We have to run at 4 legs throwing our weight forward with the correct motion of our arms, shoulders and head
- The arms move as a single big limb and must work more than the legs (otherwise the energies will end rapidly)
- The leap is given by the sharing of effort between legs and arms
- We must imagine ourselves clinging to the ground with our hands and pulling the rest of our body towards us
- Let’s divide the session to work both with the left and the right side
A note by Master Kongling – At the beginning is not simple at all but with the time we acquire the cycle.
Exercise 5: inverted gorilla running
This exercise is good to prepare the body for the spiral muscle chain (read The Spiral Muscle Chain: twists and screws of the body):
- It is the same as the gorilla running (we run frontally and in a straight direction) but at each leap, we rotate our body of 360°
- The rotation is always in the direction of the dominant leg
- Let’s divide the session to rotate both in the left and in the right direction
For a total beginner, these exercises can be performed even only for 1-3 minutes, we can slow down but we cannot stop. We can do specific sessions of each of them or we can divide the amount of time dedicated for executing altogether (eg. 1-3 minutes each).
These are safe and extremely simple running exercises ideal for beginners (or as a warm-up) but, with the right adaptations, they can be performed also by advanced practitioners.
Let s see some interesting variations (not for novices):
- Throw punches sequences during the running (read How to punch (simple explanation))
- Advanced practitioners can start to (extremely gradually and carefully) add obstacles in the path
- Include arms’ push on the walls to speed-up the running
- Use a weighted vest (15-25 Kg)
- Take on your shoulders or beside 1-2 bags (full of cement, sand, pellets, etc.) for a total of 15-50 Kg (let’s maintain balance if possible)
A note by Master Kongling – For the bags. let’s make sure that the container is sealed and clean: if necessary let’s wrap them up using airtight bags made of thick plastic.
In the next article of this series, we will see more advanced push-ups exercises.
In-depth video courses
- Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises – The fundamental technical exercises of 6 Dragons Kung Fu
- 5 jumping exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up – 5 simple types of jumps that everyone can perform
- 5 push-up exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up – 5 push-up good for those who start from scratch
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- What kind of running exercises are you performing?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.