Make stairs easier by developing a functional foundation
I cannot believe Mo convinced me, and many other members of the Seattle Green Lake Running Group (SGLRG) Stair Crushers, to sign up for another stair climb at the Columbia Tower. Every year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosts the Big Climb Seattle at the Columbia Tower. It is an incredible event which raised almost $3 million dollars last year!
It is also a brutal event - especially if you choose to time yourself and turn the 1,311 stairs over 69 flights into a race. By the time you reach the top, you can hardly breathe or walk. If you have ever experienced “track hack”, it is not fun and is almost guaranteed to occur to each individual when they reach the top of the climb.
But the race is an adrenaline rush. There are few races that can so completely test your limits in such a short period of time while serving as an opportunity to support a wonderful cause - this makes the event hard to pass up.
With the climb being less than 3 months away, it is my goal to help my stair climb team and all participants experience more success at the event - this means faster climbing times with less likelihood of injury. As a physical therapist specializing in biomechanics and someone who was fortunate enough to finish in the top 4 of the climb last year, I have a unique ability to offer special insights into stair climb training and racing. Although the SGLRG Stair Crushers group is participating in the Big Climb for altruistic reasons, we would like to do our best and win as a team.
As such, the mobility and stability drills offered below are designed with performance in mind. If your goal is to be a top finisher and train safely and effectively, consider trying the exercises in this post. As a note, my next post will offer functional stair ascent and descent drills while the final post will be all about strategy when training specifically in a stairwell and how to prepare for the subtleties of the Big Climb.
I hope you enjoy the foundational moves filmed for this blog post series.
If you would like to support my participation and/or my team’s participation in the Big Climb, please visit: http://www.llswa.org/site/TR/Events/BigClimb?px=1693676&pg=personal&fr_id=1580 to donate. Also, if you would like to train with the SGLRG Stair Crushers, feel free to join the group that Mo created on Facebook so that you can stay in the loop with stair workout meetups. Training with this group is a positive, encouraging experience and can be helpful for anyone who wants to change up their fitness routine and develop some healthy leg strength and cardio fitness.
Dr. Dan Benson, DPT, OCS, FAFS
Forefront Physical Therapy
Belltown & South Lake Union
2720 4th Ave #115
Seattle, WA 98121
We love writing about injury prevention and functional exercise. We want everyone to share in our motto: movement for a healthy life!