Runners are at a higher risk of being injured while working out. This is due in part to impact, balance, and uneven terrain. While many runners train for speed and distance, they often neglect training for balance and stability. When a person runs, they spend most of their workout with only one foot on the ground at a time. So, it only makes sense then that the best exercises a runner can do to prevent injury, have strength and balance in mind. Here are five moves to get you started!
Single Leg Squats
Squats are a great way to strengthen the lower body and excellent for runners. To prevent injuries while running, try doing single leg squats instead. When you have to balance on one leg throughout the rep, you start to strengthen the all the smaller muscles responsible for keeping the knee and ankle stable.
Single Leg Dead Lifts
Here is another move that forces you to control your balance. This move will help keep your glutes, hips, and lower back in their proper place during runs. It will also increase the power in your stride when you are running up hills or stairs.
For this exercise, you will want to start out like a traditional lunge with your feet together. Next, take a step forward as you would normally do. Now bring your back foot forward until it is in front. Walking lunges help strengthen the entire lower body and the core. To make this exercise more difficult, try adding a slight twist during each rep. It is also a good way to get used to bearing weight on one foot.
There are many different kinds of balance and wobble boards on the market. Most of them will work for this move. If you don’t have one, you might try balancing on a firm pillow. Try standing on the balance board with both feet flat. If that feels stable, you can try standing on only one foot. The idea it to build up the muscles around the ankle. Try placing your hand on a chair next to you, if you’re feeling too wobbly.
Side Plank With Reach Through
Anything runners can do to strengthen their core is going to improve each run and reduce the risk of injury. Every part of a person’s health is improved with strong abdominal muscles. Try doing side planks with a reach through. These planks will throw you off balance, forcing you to re-stabilize yourself. With every controlled rep, you are improving your posture, which will reduce injuries associated with misalignment.
Don’t let preventable injuries keep you on the sidelines. By incorporating these moves into your training program you can increase the power in your stride and reduce the risk of painful injuries.