This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
For a long stride run, you'll take the biggest step you can with every stride, pushing off the floor into the air. Pushing yourself over the floor from your legs rather than pulling yourself along with your feet means a more intense workout for all the usual running musclesquads, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Use your arms to generate power off the floorand to get your heart pumping even harder.
Stand in a room with at least 40 feet of open floor in a straight line, such as an aerobics room or basketball court, or even a sidewalk. Take up a sprinter's stance, with feet staggered and upper body slightly inclined forward (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, run forward in a straight line, taking the largest strides and generating as much power off the floor as you safely can. Help create more momentum by pumping strongly with your arms. Think of each stride as a running leap, so that you cover the entire floor (or roughly 40 feet if outside) in a minimum of strides with a maximum of power (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When you run out of space, turn around and walk back to the starting point. Repeat this circuit eight times, keeping up the size and energy of your stride on the runs and recovering by walking back to the start (see Photos 4 and 5).