acumobility ball and acumobility eclipse foam roller to release trigger points in the legs for runners mobility

The "BIG 4" Mobility Strategies for Runners with Anna Willard

As many of you are recovering from Thanksgiving feasts, football games and Turkey Trots, we wanted to delve back into the Acumobility archive and bring back an oldie but a goodie - the ACU-Running "Big 4".

Acu-Running, is our unique running program that we developed while working on hundreds of elite and amateur runners in our Sports Medicine clinic.   Two years ago, In collaboration with our partner Topo Athletic we launched the free online version of the program to teach athletes how to look at the underlying movement patterns that serve as the building blocks of the running form. Through a series of videos, Acu-Running will teach you how to self-analyze your underlying mobility and stability imbalances, and then show you how to correct these imbalances and apply it back into the running form.

The Acu-Running "Big Four" is a quick and easy way to address the 4 most common mobility restrictions for runners: quadriceps/hip flexors, hamstrings, outer hips, and thoracic (back). The "Big Four" videos will show you how to test your own mobility, and then address any restrictions through rolling, targeted myofascial release, and muscle patterning/activation.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexors

Hip extension is a critical part of effective running. This video will help you understand if you have sufficient quad and hip flexor mobility to get into full extension in the running stride. You will also learn three part mobility progression to help gain better mobility in these areas.


Hamstring mobility is incredibly important in your running stride because it allows for proper hip flexion. See if you have enough hamstring mobility for effective running form. If not, we've got a great series of drills to help you out.

Outer Hip:

Outer hip mobility is responsible for maintaing proper pelvic rotation and hip extension in the running stride. Tight outer hips may even lead to excessive load being placed on through the knees and low back during running. Watch this video to see if you have proper hip mobility, as well as learn some great ways to make it even better.

Thoracic Mobility:

Thoracic and shoulder mobility is often overlooked by runners, but maintaining proper mobility through this area of the body is essential in creating a sound transference of power between the torso and hips. A lack of mobility can distort this movement, causing abnormal rotational force to be place on the hips, ultimately sapping power and creating imbalances. Desk-sitters, you are going to love this one! Note: (We released the Ultimate Back Roller since filming this video and highly recommend using it for the 1st part of the release that we showed with the Eclipse Roller as it was specifically designed for that function)

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This is also just a small taste of the in-depth content available for free as part of the full Acu-Running program which can be found at

Our Partner Topo Athleticis an incredible shoe company that makes the best natural running shoes in the world.  They have a mission to help athletes Move Better Naturally and are dedicated to creating products and supporting education to do just that. Stay tuned for more running educational content coming soon.

-Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder Acumobility)