2 years ago we met some of the folks from B2R aka Born2Run at the Running Event here in Austin. At that time they were showcasing their Born To Run shoes and strength training system. B2R was co-founded by Eric Orton who wrote the book Born To Run, which set off the barefoot craze.
The goal of the strength training system is to specifically focus on the foot, leg and core muscles. The system involves 3 levels of training. Level 1 uses the B2R Slant Wobble Board, which when combined with trekking poles provides an unstable platform on which to strengthen your foot, leg and core muscles. Level 2 and 3 take it a step further by using what B2R refers to as Stability Disks. While level 1 uses the Slant Board, Level 2 and Level 3 up the difficulty level by using the very unstable Stability Disks.
Eric suggests that you first begin with the Level 1 training and the Slant Board before moving on to Level 2 & 3.
Level 2 introduces you to the Stability Disks. The workouts start by using the Slant Board for 3 exercises (Straight Ahead, Uphill Sideways, Downhill Sideways). Unlike Level 1, you will not be using poles when doing these Slant Board exercises. The goal is to work on your balance and not be as concerned about staying in the center of the board’s ridge. The Slant Board exercises are followed by 7 Stability Disk exercises and then one more Stability Board exercise. As a bonus, there is also a set of balance ball exercises that really engage the core. Eric suggests doing the exercises 2 to 3 times a week.
Level 3 makes things a bit tougher by incorporating more balancing aspects to the exercises as well as introducing brand new exercises. For example the first 3 exercises are the same as level 2, but now you’re concentrating on center balance.
After doing just the first few exercises in Level 2, you can really feel engagement. Total time is around 20-30 minutes. The balance ball drills are a really nice touch and Eric makes the drill look easy, which they are not.
Being a big fan of the Level 1 exercises, Level 2 and 3 are even better. The combination of using the Slant Board with the Stability Disks is a real winner.
While the Born2Run Strength Training System is designed for runners, any athlete regardless of sport will benefit. The feet are often the overlooked component to overall health and performance.
Check out Born2Run’s website for more information.