A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ready to Run Book Review: Part 2 (Chapters 8-12)

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After being plagued by chronic IT band/knee issues, I finally went back to my chiropractor (who performs Active Release Therapy) in hopes of some relief. He recommended the book Ready to Run, by Dr. Kelly Starrett. I immediately bought it off Amazon and got to work reading it. I will provide you my review, thoughts, and anything else I have to say about the book as I am reading it. I have no clue what I will think of the book. All thoughts are my own and are in real time as I read through. 

No one is compensating me for this book review, and I spent my own $18 to buy it. (Okay, it was a gift card. Thank you piano student!!!!)

Chapter 8: Standard #5: Hip Flexion

The more researchers learn about running injuries, the more they learn that many injuries are caused by weak hips! Starrett says, "Developing and/or maintaining proper hip flexion contributes to the healthy hip function , which will enable you to run with good form and balance and channel power from your posterior chain."

Here is the video of me doing the hip flexion test!

Just like any standard in the book- just because you can reach it, doesn't mean you should ignore it. You should of course first address standards you are having trouble with, but also once a day do exercises to maintain the standards you can already reach.

Time Factor: Incorporate exercises into my mobility work- which has been 15-20 minutes a day for me. (Could be less once I feel strong again!)
Money: $0

Chapter 9: Standard #6: Hip Extension

This chapter sort of goes along with Chapter 8. Starrett says, "Taking care of your quads and hip flexors promotes healthy hip function and marginalizes the demonic forces that can torture your knees." Starrett really ingrains in the reader that you should: 1. Sit as little as possible. 2. Do the couch stretch every day.

What is the couch stretch? So glad you asked! This is me doing the couch stretch! I feel things I have never felt before when I do this!

Time Factor: I do this stretch at least twice a day- 2 minutes on each side.
Money: $0

Chapter 10: Standard #7: Ankle Range of Motion

I learned a lot about the Achilles tendon in this chapter! Did you know your Achilles is so tough that it could suspend a Ford Fiesta!? CRAZY. Starrett gives two tests to determine if you have proper ROM in your ankle.The first is the dorsiflexion test. You have to be able to get into a pistol position- a full-flexion single-leg squat.

Here is me trying to do this...

As you can see, I CAN'T! My heel is WAY off the ground on both sides!

The second test is a plantar flexion test. All you need to do is get in the kneeling position with your feet under your bum in full dorsiflexion. Here is me:

Yay! I can do it!

Apparently, reduced ankle range of motion the culprit for many nagging knee injuries. Looks like I am going to really have to work on mine...

Time Factor: I will have to include ankle ROM exercises in my mobility work so I can chase this standard.
Money: $0

Chapter 11: Standard #8: Warming Up and Cooling Down

I am ashamed of running for years without properly warming up or cooling down. Starrett recommends some easy ways to do each:

Warm Up: walking, air squats, jumping rope, mobility work, dynamic and non linear full body movements

Cool Down: walk, easy bike ride, rowing, body weight movements, mobility work

Time Factor: Anywhere between 10-20 minutes each, depending on the intensity of the workout. (The higher intensity of the workout, the more warming up and cooling down needed.)
Money: $0

Chapter 12: Standard #9: Compression

Starrett doesn't beat around the bush. Athletes should wear compression socks as they are an effective and budget friendly way to restore worked tissue after a tough workout. He talks more about compression in the chapter about hot spots, but here he is simply talking about compression socks, so I will wait until later to tell you all about the other fun compression I am doing...

Time Factor: Just the amount of time it takes to put on and take off socks. 30 seconds? I haven't worn them yet since I haven't run since I got them.
Money: $24 for compression socks (already purchased).

Do you have a favorite brand of compression socks?
How much time do you spend warming up and cooling down?
Can you do pistol squats? If so, I am jealous!


  1. I am loving reading your posts because its like a reminder of what I read in the book! I have continued to work on my hip flexors but I need to get better about my ankle ROM. I wear compression socks to work almost every day! (Under my boots!) PRO Compression is my favorite:)

    1. Nice! Chime in if you think I missed something or got it wrong! I am enjoying writing the posts because it is FORCING me to process everything I read.

      I have getting better with couch stretch- yesterday I almost had my back against the wall. Now this morning I was tight again. This weekend I plan on working on ankle ROM as you can tell from my pics that mine is HORRIBLE.

  2. Your outfit in the hip flex video looks sooooooo comfortable!

    I am going to try all of these things tonight when I get home and see how it goes!

    I don't have a favorite brand of compression socks and I only own one pair. I think everyone in the run blog world likes ProCompression but I just went down to the local Dicks (lol) Sporting Goods (why does it have to be called Dicks? Why am I so immature?) and picked up a pair of whatever brand they had in my size.

    1. Kristina, that outfit is my "nice" pajamas. I wear it with a sweat shirt when I teach piano lessons hahaha! Not very professional but I don't really care!

      The compression socks I got were 2XU. They got really good reviews and were on sale at amazon for $24... compared to $45 on the website!

      I only got one pair. I will just be stanky and wear them over and over again.

  3. I cannot do pistol squats!! My youngest son keeps suggesting that for me to for my 45 - I don't know what he is thinking!!!
    And, I've been all about compressions socks the past couple of days!

    1. Tell him he'll have to help you up!

      As for the compression socks... I'm sure you have been wearing them!

  4. Thank you so much for taking time to review this book. I have been doing a lot of PT since July and we have worked on so much. It really is amazing how much better the body responds when you start to address things that are wrong. I love my PTs --they are keeping me running pain free!

    P.S. I actually can do the pistol squat but doesn't mean I don't have lots of other areas to work. We can all do it together!!

    1. Nice, Susan!! How did you work up to doing pistol squats?

    2. Also I am glad you are running pain free!!!! :)

  5. I think all the yoga I have been doing has been helping with that ankle mobility. Without realizing it, you really are always working on stretching them out and making them more limber.

    P.S. you will be running pain free, too! Just stick with your plan, girl.

  6. Thank you for sharing these!! I'm going to be using them myself!