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.  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!

Thanks for checking out ACU-Running, brought to you by Topo Athletic.

Before you start this program, please note the following things: 

Thanks for taking the time to read this and we hope you enjoy the ACU-Running Program!

Team ACU-Running


Brad Cox Lic.Ac. is a Movement Specialist, ACU-Running Coach and Licensed Acupuncturist specializing in Orthopedic Acupuncture and Sports Medicine.  He is the co-Founder and CEO of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running.  ACU-Mobility is an educational and mobility products company, dedicated to the development of unique sport specific corrective exercise programs and innovative product design.  Brad has treated hundreds of athletes including: Olympic and world class Runners, Triathletes, Power Lifters, Elite Crossfitters and Professional Strong Men.  He is a consultant and running mechanics expert for TOPO Athletic.  He teaches workshops and seminars on running mechanics, mobility and movement analysis around the U.S.


Dr. Sonia Pasquale D.C., Lic.Ac. is a Chiropractor, Sports Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist, Movement Specialist, Nutrition Counselor and Co-Founder of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running systems.  She has specialties in Orthopedics, Functional Movement Analysis, Functional Medicine and Women's Health.  She incorporates advanced Chiropractic and Acupuncture manual techniques to create a unique integrative approach to treatment.  She works with both Elite and Novice athletes to help them achieve their individual physical goals.  She is the Director and co-Owner of Wakefield Wellness Center outside of Boston MA.


Chris Lehman , Lic.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Movement Specialist and ACU-Running Coach.  Chris Specializes in Orthopedic Acupuncture and functional movement analysis working with all kinds of Athletes.  He focuses on balancing the body through Acupuncture and manual therapies to enhance proper biomechanics with an emphasis in sports medicine and injury prevention.


Kaitlin graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  After graduation she worked for a short time in the Med/Neuro ICU at Moore County Regional Hospital in NC.  Kaitlin has been an avid runner for many years, having completed several road races at both the half marathon and marathon distance, before switching to trail running.  Her love for trail running came from the many long distance hiking trails she has completed, such as the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail.  She is excited to share her love for running by being part of the ACU-Mobility team!

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