It’s another edition of Monthly Workouts for Runners BY Runners. Here’s the previous month’s workouts if you missed them:
This month, the topic is Injury Prevention Essentials for Runners.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve had my fair share of running injuries during the past few years. With each injury, I’ve spent some time in physical therapy where I’ve learned a lot. In the past, I always went for the bigger, flashier strength training exercises, thinking that I was gaining more. The more complicated the better, right? Not so much. The basics work. It’s all you need. However, what’s the key to making the basic exercises work?
Doing them. Consistently. And with good form.
Here are 7 exercises that I do routinely to help keep my body strong and off the injured list.
Single Leg Squat (Good for pelvis stabilization, glute strength, balance)
- Balance on your left foot. Bending at the knee, sit your hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair behind you. Aim for your upper leg to be parallel or lower to the ground.
- Return to standing position. Repeat 12 reps before switching to the right leg.
Eccentric Calf Raises (Good for Achilles Tendonitis)
- Start on your tiptoes on the edge of a step, gradually lower your heel below the forefoot.
- Using the other leg, raise yourself back to the starting position.
- Do three sets of 15 reps of each exercise, twice a day.
Dog & Fire Hydrant (Good for glutes) – FYI: I’m sure there is a proper name for this but I think this gives a good visual of what the exercise should look like.
- Get on the floor with knees below your hips and hands beneath shoulders.
- Lift right knee off the floor and way out to the side, like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. (Sound effects are optional).
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and lower slowly.
- Perform 12 reps, then repeat on the left leg.
Single Leg Bridge (Good for glutes)
- Lay with back on the floor, feet flat and knees bent, arms on the floor for stabilization.
- Raise right leg up off the floor.
- Pressing your left heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat 12-15 reps on each side.
Lateral Leg Raise (Good for hips and glutes)
- Lay on your right side with your legs extended out and stacked one atop the other. Head can be supported with hand.
- Engage your left glute muscles and slowly lift up your leg keeping your foot in a neutral position.
- Lower leg to starting position. Do 12 reps. Repeat on other side. May use a resistance band for higher intensity.
Plank (Good for core strength)
- Begin in push up position and lower down to your forearms, making sure shoulders are over elbows and palms are flat on the floor.
- Make a straight line from your head to your heels, hold this position for 20-60 seconds.
Side Plank (Good for core strength)
- Place your right elbow on the ground.
- Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line, balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
- Keep your waist up and lifted, and don’t sink into your bottom shoulder. Reach your left hand to the ceiling.
- Hold for 20-60 seconds before repeating on left side.
And here are even more Injury Prevention Exercises and Tips from 4 of my running friends. Allie is too busy having fun in Italy to join us this month. Can you believe she didn’t invite us along? The nerve! 😉
Pin away so you have a stash of workouts on hand to keep running strong!
Three key moves for any runner from Sarah.
Don’t forget the Donkey Kicks from Laura.
Go Around the World with Carly.
Nellie has tips for preventing injuries.
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What’s your favorite injury prevention tool or exercise?