After the previous posting on running mechanics (Effective Running: Pull, Don't Push) I had a lot of inquires about how do you 'pull'. One runner said "I can't get my body to look like the runners in the second picture!" I admitted, discovering that you don't have ideal running mechanics is easy. Correcting your mechanics is a more involved process.
Before simply trying to mimic the mechanics of the runners in the second photo, you need to enhance your underlying physical attributes. The first physical attribute, and what I am going to address in this post, is hip and ankle mobility. Ninety percent of the population needs to enhance hip and ankle mobility. These muscles tighten up from sitting so much during the day. When I work with a client, I would assess them with a series of drills and exercises. Then I would have a better idea what specific deficits they may have (including tight muscles, weakness, imbalances, compensations, etc.).
I have included three mobility drills to enhance your hip and ankle mobility. They are performed on one leg at a time. Perform 10 repetitions of each on the right and left legs. Repeat for a total if three sets. First, is the Calf Raise on all fours with knees straight:
Second, is the Single-Leg Deadlift & Reach:
Third, is the Lunge with Hip Extension (for stretching the hip flexors, try to keep the pelvis from tipping forward- mine is tipping slightly):
Next, is to develop hip strength and power.