Somax performance specialists have discovered that the keys to winning performance in running are flexibility in very specific ranges and efficient mechanics.

Since 1970 Somax specialists have carefully analyzed frame-by-frame videotapes of top runners, as well as the strides of 4500 recreational runners. We have discovered that the best runners are the ones with the greatest flexibility and most efficient mechanics.


Runners are often completely unaware of their lack of flexibility. There are 20 ranges of motion critical to an efficient stride. Before runners are aware of any stiffness at all, we have found that they have lost at least 50% of the range they need for running.

Distance runners have the lowest flexibility of all competitive athletes. Adequate flexibility for running is usually found in just a handful of sprinters.

American distance runners perform poorly in international competition because they are selected for poor flexibility. American runners try out for track early in their career. If they can't run a fast sprint they go to the mile. If they can't run a fast mile, they go to cross-country. American distance runners come out of cross-country. They were not able to run sprints when they were young because of poor flexibility.

Improving the flexibility of our runners with Microfiber Reduction and Tension Reduction has helped them cut a minute per mile off their running pace.

You can order directions for measuring your flexibility for running, including your breathing ranges.

Microfiber Reduction

We improve flexibility in runners with Microfiber Reduction (our proprietary form of connective tissue massage that improves flexibility far beyond what stretching alone can do) and Tension Reduction (our special program to reduce tension in specific muscle groups).

Microfiber and Tension Reduction improve flexibility in runners 50-300% beyond what stretching alone can do.


Somax analysts have identified five mechanical characteristics that are critical to improving performance and reducing injuries.

The most important of these is stride angle--the maximum opening between the front and trailing legs at push off. Head Olympic Track and Field coach Stan Huntsman asked Somax to analyze the top four finishers at the 1988 Olympics Trials in Indianapolis. We found that in every race from 1500m to 10k, the first four runners finished in order of their stride angle.

Often the difference between 3rd and 4th place, which meant going to the Olympics or staying home, was just 1 degree of stride angle.

Bounce is the amount you move up and down when you run. The average elite marathoner bounces up and down 3" with each stride. Since there are 1,000 strides per mile, these 26,200 bounces add up to a vertical 2.48 miles. Running these vertical miles is what makes the marathon so difficult--not the horizontal distance.

With each 3" bounce, you land with 6 times your body weight on each leg, or 900 lbs. for a 150 lb. runner. This stresses the quads, knees, pelvis and ankles.

Overstriding, or landing on the heel in front of your body, slows a runner down and adds stress to the ankles, knees, pelvis and back.

Crossover is the number of degrees your leg crosses over toward the midline while you run. Crossover is the most common cause of injuries in runners, as the leg lands at an oblique angle to the ground, forcing the foot to pronate to make contact, which forces the ankles and knees to move sideways, which they were not designed to do. Durable runners, like Haile Gebrselassie, have only 2 degrees of crossover. Most runners have 6-12 degrees.

Upper Body Torque is the twisting of the shoulders you see in almost all runners. It is caused by microfibers in the shoulders. Upper Body Torque, or UBT, is the main cause of crossover, and therefore the root cause of most running injuries. We have helped many runners get rid of chronic knee and hip pain by simply increasing the flexibility of their shoulders with Microfiber Reduction.


Many runners are restricted in their breathing ranges. A normal chest will expand at least 15% of its circumference when taking a deep breath. This means a runner with a 40" chest will expand 6". Most runners are lucky if they expand 2"--many expand much less. The biggest expansion we have ever measured in an athlete was 9". He was not a runner.

It is not uncommon for our runners to double their breathing ranges with our Microfiber Reduction program. As we increase their breathing range, they report less respiratory distress while running and better endurance.


Since we know that tension and microfibers can form from overusing muscles, training for running with poor mechanics will create microfibers that reduce hip flexibility and stride angle. For every degree you lose in your stride angle, you lose 2% of your stride length. No amount of training will compensate for that loss of stride angle. This is why so many runners plateau in their performance, and why their performance declines with age.

By releasing microfibers and improving mechanical characteristics, our runners usually cut a minute per mile off their running pace.

by Bob Prichard


We have an excellent DVD that shows our mechanical analysis of running as well as a demonstration of Microfiber Reduction. You will see us work with a runner who cuts 8 seconds off his quarter mile time in just the first 90 minutes of his Somax program. You can order the DVD for $30; the cost is refundable with any of our programs.

Our Programs

We work with runners in individual programs and national team programs. Our individual programs are 30-120 hours and can be completed in as little as 5-20 days. We recommend you start with our Day at Somax, as fees are non-refundable.

Clients and Testimonials

You can see before and after photos of our clients and read their comments on their Somax program.

Schedules and Appointments

Please contact us to discuss our programs and schedule appointments.