Friday, March 23, 2012

The Verdict is... FinishLine Rocks!

As you may have figured out from my tweets & Facebook updates my hip has been giving me some major problems. When I went to the Multisport Expo (a few weeks ago) I met some amazing people from FinishLine PT who were giving away 1 free visit and assessment. After much thought, I decided to give it a try. So I scheduled an appointment.

When I arrived at FinishLine, the first person I met was Andre. He knew my name before I even introduced myself and he was extremely welcoming. Then came Sara! We chatted a little bit about half marathons and then I headed off to the changing room.

The FinishLine PT office is one of the coolest PT places I have been. Picture taken from
Once I was in my running gear I met with Erica, who got me ready for the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. The AlterG allows you to run at a set % of your weight (ranging from 20 -100). Before I hopped on the AlterG I had to put on a pair of neoprene shorts that zipped into the machine making for a complete pressurized chamber. Once zipped in and pressurized, the machine took my exact weight. Then I was off and running.

I started off with the AlterG set at 75% of my body weight (108lbs). I did feel lighter in my run. After a few minutes Andre came over to tell me to fluctuate the body weight setting so I could really see what it felt like to run with no pressure. I decreased the body weight option slowly; because I had no idea what to expect. When I hit 30%  I felt like I was running on marshmallows with the stride of a gazelle. I was float-running; the only part of my body hitting the ground was my toes. Absolutely amazing! I admit that the 30 minute run on the AlterG has changed my outlook on how much improvement I need in my running form.

Running at 30% of my body weight. Which is approximately 43 lbs!
After completing my run on the AlterG, I met with Brynn who performed my gait analysis. Like having a pair of running shoes professionally fitted, FinishLine uses a camera setup to record your run/walk on the treadmill (not the AlterG). After 45 seconds of walking, Brynn had me come off the machine to take a look at my video. FinishLine uses an in-depth program, OptoJump, that analyzes everything from my stride to my how my hips move. From the analysis it was confirmed that the pain in my hip is not coming from my IT Band (oh thank goodness!). The problem actually lies in my weak hips. Because of the lack of strength in my hips, I'm not using the correct muscles when I run. My glutes aren't firing and my pelvis is not tilting correctly (I think I got that right).

The OptoJump software is awesome for a tech nerd like me!
I am still surprised that all of this pain stems from the fact that my hip muscles are not as strong as they should be. So guess what I'm focusing on? Yep, some intense cross training that centers on muscle strength in my lower body. I will also be making my next appointment to see a PT at FinishLine because I think that with some guidance I can become a much stronger and faster runner (SCORE!).

If you are in the New York area and are interested in having an analysis done, you can find out more at or by calling 212.486.8573.

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

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