Head to Toe with Coach Jeff: Stability Exercises

January 24, 2024

Welcome back to another exciting episode of “Head to Toe with Coach Jeff!” Team Injinji Athlete Jeff Browning is ready to elevate your strength training and pre-run routines.  

In this video, Jeff guides you through four essential stability exercises designed to activate your glutes and enhance your balance before hitting the pavement. Tune in to discover a set of dynamic exercises that will actively prime your muscles for an optimal pre-run warm-up.  

Stability Exercises Video Transcript

Hey! Jeff Browning here with four stability exercises you can mix into your strength training days, or before a run for engagement. This focuses mainly on balance and glute engagement.

The first move is for a reverse lunge to a knee driver. You’re gonna step back, engage the big toe, so 90-degree angle at the big toe. Don’t let it go to the side. Go down, touch your knee, and you’re going to drive up and engage your glute and tuck your heel - meaning calf against the hamstring. That’s the move – you're going to do that and to each side. 

And I recommend on all these exercises about twelve to each side if you’re in a hurry, or you can do three sets of ten.  

The next move is alternating figure four squat. This one I really want you to think about when you stand -  those big toes are like parallel headlights. Don’t let them go out like this, don’t let them go like this and cross.  

You’re going to go down to one leg. You’re going to cross figure 4, and then you’re going to work on – and some of you will need a chair or a wall – but over time I want you to drive those arms above your head and stretch all the way down. Then come back up, step to the other side, switch, come down – all the way down – try to get this leg at 90 degrees, and then back up. And you’re just going to go back and forth.  

The third exercise is runner arabesque to knee driver. Standing on one leg, you’re gonna engage this glute, drive this behind you, fairly straight leg, slightly bent knee. Bring this arm in front of you, then you’re gonna come forward balancing on that leg. You can tell my left leg is my weak side. Come up, engage the glute, again knee driver, tuck that heel under, and then you’re gonna go back, and then drive forward, engage the opposite glute you’re standing on. 

Fourth exercise is alternative ATG split squat, or alternating ATG split squat with a reach – you're going to step back, engage that big toe like on the first exercise. This time, instead of lunging knee down, you keep this knee as straight as you can, engaging that big toe, and you’re going to drive this knee over your foot and in front of your knee.  

So, over time, at first you may have to have a stool or raise your foot up if you don’t have good range of motion here, but this is really good for knee stability and mobility. Drive that knee over the front of the toes and try to get the calf on the hamstrings. Don’t force it, take your time with this move. Then you’re gonna come back up. When you drive down, reach and get some stretch here. Then you’re going to stand back up; I like to make sure I drive my heel to the ground when I stand up so it’s like a scissor stance. That split stance allows you to work on calf mobility too and stretch it. Always get that reset and drive. See how I’m trying to drive that toe into the ground and straight leg? You can have a slight bend, and then drive this leg like this. You’re always going to do this – reach, stand up, stretch the calf. Reset, go down, reach up. Then, you’re going to switch to the other side. You can do them opposite – so you can do six to each side (if we were doing twelve). Or you can do stepping – forward, up, drive up, stand back, drive forward, reach, stand up, switch to the other side.  

Use those in your training – giddy up!  

For more videos in this multi-part series with Team Injinji's Jeff Browning (@GoBroncoBilly) subscribe to our YouTube channel. Happy Running! 

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