Essential Exercises for Running Injuries

Run It - tips and tricks for runners by runners. (1)

Welcome to another edition of Run It, a monthly collaboration with myself and 5 of my running blogging friends. Each month we discuss and share the essentials runners need to know about.

Catch up on previous editions:

Winter Running Tips and Essentials Every Runner Needs

How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

The Best and Worst Racing Advice for Runners

This month, we are discussing essential exercises for running injuries.  If you have been reading HFM for any length of time, you know that I am no stranger to injuries.  From all of the injuries that I’ve had (and even the ones that I hopefully will never have), there’s one common denominator to it all.

Glute strength.

If your foot is injured. Check your glute strength.

If your knee is injured. Check your glute strength.

If you have ITB issues. Check your glute strength.

The glutes are the powerhouse of running.  If you aren’t solid in the back, you’ve got problems coming up at some point.

The good news is that glutes are quite easy to strengthen and it doesn’t take high end equipment to do it.

FYI – I am not your physician or physical therapist.  If you are injured, please see a specialist for your own injury assessment and treatment.

Stay injury free or rehab an injury with these glute strengtghening exercises for runners

Monster Walk with Resistance Band

Loop the band above the ankles. Bend your knees slightly, with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward and to the side at a 45 degree angle, keeping the bend in your knees. Step forward and to the opposite side at a 45 degree angle. Do this down a long hallway. Repeat the sequence walking backwards. Do two sets of 20 reps.

Side Step with Resistance Band

Same set up as Monster Walks but step to the side instead until the band provides significant resistance. Then slide your foot over. Do this down a long hallway and repeat back to your starting point. Do two sets of 20 reps.

Walking Lunges

Standing, take a step forward with your right leg, landing in the heel, lower your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. The back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over the ankle. Press your right heel into the ground, and push off with your left foot to bring your left leg forward, stepping into a lunge on the other side. Repeat 2-3 laps in a long hallway.

Split Squat

Start with back foot propped on high step and weight bearing leg far in front of the step. Squat down on front knee. Don’t front knee go in front of toes or collapse to the mid-line. Return to starting position. Repeat 20 times before switching to other leg. Once this becomes easy, add hand weights to each hand. Do two sets of 20 reps for each leg.

Clamshells with Resistance Band

Slide resistance band above the knees. Lay on your side, with your head resting on your bottom arm. Bring knees up to a 90 degree angle, so that the bottom of your feet and your spine are along the same plane. Raise your top knee slowly keeping your heels together like you are opening a clam. Do two sets of 20 reps.

Bridge with Bound Feet

Lay with back on the floor. Knees are bent. Bring the soles of your feet to touch. Lower your knees to the sides. With feet close to your glutes, press the bottom of the feet together, tighten glutes and raise glutes away from the floor. Pause and return to starting position. Repeat 20 times.  This is a great alternative for quad or hamstring dominant people. It makes you use your glutes more. Do two sets of 20 reps.

Here are even more injury recovery tips from 5 of my running friends. Click on the picture to take you to their post. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash to reference whenever you need it. Hopefully, you won’t but you never know!

SarahPrevent high hamstring tendonitis and piriformis syndrome with these exercises.Carly

Injury April Fine Fit Day


Laura April Link




Workouts For Common Runner Injuries

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What injuries have you had?

What exercises do you swear by to keep you running?






19 comments on “Essential Exercises for Running Injuries

  1. I had to chuckle a bit at your list because sure enough, every time I go to my Dr for an injury I get the “your glutes aren’t firing” story! Ugh. I have been struggling with that for awhile now. However, it’s a catch 22 because the PT exercises make me even more sore, and I’m sore running if I don’t have the strength. Still trying to figure out the right balance to get me where I want to be. Thanks for the great resource of info!!
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted..Rest & recovery… it’s part of the plan!My Profile

  2. Girlfriend, you read my mind. I’m semi-injured (hopefully just for this week though!) and the one thing I keep going back to is my glute strength. I’ve been working on it so much lately but apparently not enough!

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