Topo Athletic ACU Running
Topo Athletic ACU Running

The Big Four

The ACU-Running "Big Four" is a quick and easy way to address the 4 most common mobility restrictions for runners: quadriceps, hamstrings, outer thighs, 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. Once you've mastered this list, you may wish to move on to more assessments in the "Assess" portion of the full ACU-Running Program.

The tools used in this video are the ACU-Mobility Ball and the Eclipse Roller available from ACUMOBILITY. However, you may use a foam roller or a lacrosse ball to achieve similar results. These videos also feature body weight exercises that use the ACU-Mobility Ball. The ACU-Mobility Balls provide an extra challenge by encouraging core recruitment and muscle firing. However, if doing an exercise on the Balls is too difficult, simply replace that exercise with your hands placed flat on the ground until you feel like you are ready to add a stability challenge. Please do not attempt these body weight exercises using a traditional lacrosse or tennis ball. All exercises can and should be modified to your own abilities and make sure to read this first before starting the program.

Video 1: 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.


Video 2: Hamstrings
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.


Video 3: 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.


Video 4: Thoracic
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!