Why You Should Train Movement, Not Muscle – with Jay Dicharry

While most of us know we need to do strength work to truly see results, according to Jay Dicharry, this is a waste of time without also practicing movement and mobility.

One of America’s leading physical therapists and the author of Anatomy for Runners, Jay established his reputation as an expert in biomechanical analysis as Director of the University of Virginia’s SPEED Clinic.

Today, athletes from all over travel to his REP Lab in Bend Oregon where Jay blends clinical practice and engineering to better understand overuse injuries.

But what sets Jay apart from traditional therapy? He works to correct imbalances before they become a problem, and to do that he helps runners rewire their body-brain movement patterns.

In this episode, Jay will share a little about his new book, Running Rewired, explain how we can rediscover our body-brain movement patterns, and dispel the myths that pervade both the shoe and physical therapy industries.


Questions Jay is asked:

3:10 When and how did you start running?

4:30 Did your own injuries prompt your interest in pursuing Physical therapy as a career?

5:21 Were you able to find a ‘smoking gun’ for your body’s propensity to injury?

7:54 Why did you emphasize Quality over Quantity when you designed the workouts in your new book, Running Rewired?

11:06 These exercises are designed to rewire body / brain movement patterns; what are they and why do we lose them over time?

17:00 Why are injury rates so high and what are the biggest culprits behind them?

25:15 Why do you consider a lot of injuries to be ‘Chain-reaction’ injuries?

29:59 Why is a 180 cadence not necessarily optimal for every runner?

34:41 How important is it for runners to be running on their forefoot?

37:17 How does “Rate of Force” play into all of this?

41:57 How could a college athlete with a background of strength work go about increasing ‘explosiveness’ and ‘Rate of Force’?

46:39 Can shoes improve running form?

51:13 How has performance therapy changed since you came into the field?

56:51 Do you have any research projects going on currently?

Quotes by Jay:

“The time to worry about your form is not at the finish line at a half-marathon with a competitor breathing down your neck; you should have practiced it a long time ago. And I think that time is now.”

“I’m not trying to get you to train a muscle, I want you to train a movement.”

“I don’t believe in isometric exercises; exercises where you hold a static position in a sport which you don’t hold a static position. If running’s dynamic, then posture’s dynamic.”

“When you start to talk about these athletes in Born To Run, they’re harvesting crops, they’re hunting down animals… Running IS their transportation mechanism. And then we basically watch Netflix and put a pair of shoes on and hope for the best.”

“We live in a society which is very mirror-dominant; we love to work our quads and our chests and we work things that are in front of us, but we neglect the things behind us.”

“Running is a lot of load applied for a long period of time.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

REP Lab website
Book: Running Rewired
Book: Born To Run

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