by Dana Cavalea November 16, 2017


Running is bad for your knees and back!!

Wives Tale?

Part Yes... Part No!

So as my friend Riley heads down to Miami Beach today.. he starts every morning with a hearty walk.. on the 5+ mile boardwalk.. overlooking the ocean..

Gotta love it!

The old walk, followed up with a great breakfast.. sounds good to me!

But what if we could make that walk a more effective and a more efficient way to burn calories?

Now you may be asking what this has to do to with Running being Good/ Bad for your knees and back.. and that is what I am going to tell you!

That spine of yours.. as well as those knees should be looked at as SHOCK ABSORBERS..

Very rarely do you see very fit/ thin people having a host of back and knee issues from running..

This is typically a FAT Guy Issue.. 

(unless your run marathons/ ultras- in which case the volume can start to erode the shock absorbing cartilage/ discs that sit between the knee joint and vertebrae).

And by FAT.. I mean only 5-10 lbs over your optimal weight..

We all know that Sprinting is more aggressive and requires more force into the ground in order to perform.. 

Now if you are pounding the ground aggressively, via sprinting or overly prescribed interval work, and you are carrying 5-10 extra pounds, think about how much more force absorption has to take place from your KNEES & BACK?

Running with excess weight over time, with high volumes will cause pain and erode the shock absorbers of your KNEES & BACK..

This is why when using RUNNING as a weight loss vehicle, volume should be monitored, and cross training the remainder of the workout with non-impact, heart rate based training is preferred. (part of why I am so down on CROSSFIT)

Now.. once you get your weight in check, you have healthy muscle tissue, and a strong core, RUN YOURSELF RAGGED!

(this simply means running 5-10miles per week will not kill you.. and remember, running should always be cycled, and should have adequate rest between bouts)

Your KNEES & BACK are only an issue when you are too heavy, have pre-existing injuries (seen via mri/xray  - not self diagnosis), have structural birth based abnormalities, have destructive posture, and are "jumping" right into a RUNNING PROGRAM and are not focused on slow, steady progression and volume accumulation..


So.. don't diss running.. build up to it... 

If you are holding extra weight, use non-impact to get the weight off, then start building your running volume!

Once you do this, running is the best way to lose weight, improve endurance and cardiac efficiency.. THE BEST!

Prepare to RUN!

** And Riley.. if you read this.. Throw a couple short jogs in there before the Delano!!



Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

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