Four Strength Exercises to Prevent Running Injuries

Written by Melanie
29
Jul

Newmarket, Aurora, and East Gwillimbury is full of very active individuals that love to get out and exercise their bodies!

East Gwillimbury Physiotherapy is in existence to help you do this without pain and injury.  I would like to share with you four general exercises to help you enjoy the trails and routes in these beautiful towns.

Please note that all of the below exercises should be cleared both by your General Physician and your Physiotherapist, to ensure that they are in fact appropriate and healthy for you.

1.  Side plank and Front plank:

These two core exercises have been shown in the research to recruit a lot of our deep and superficial core muscles by just performing the exercise with proper technique (back neutral position being key)!! EASY!

Addressing core weakness, primarily specific to endurance component of core function, will help promote good running form and prevent injuries and undue stress to your spine and periphery as well.

2.  Hip flexor stretch:

Most of us are in occupations and /or commutes and/or hobbies that require a lot of sitting.  This daily percentage of sitting leads to many of us having decreased length in our hip flexor muscles (decreasing hip extension), this will translate into a running form of leaning forward through the trunk while running rather than extending our legs out behind us, this inhibits the use of our big powerful gluteus (butt) muscles to propel us and give us power in our jogging or running work out.

This tightness in the hip flexors actually can increase the extension mobility in our low back which may sound good but usually becomes a part of an issue causing acute or chronic low back pain  (seek the advice of a Physiotherapist please in this case). Tight hip flexors believe it or not will also promote a forward head posture which also leads to acute and chronic pain of the neck, shoulder, mid back, jaw and headaches!

3.  Gluteus Medius single leg squat:

This muscle stabiliser of the hip needs to be solid.  This muscle prevents back, hip, knee and foot pain promoting proper mechanics in the lower extremity and back.

In the single leg squat, the part of your pelvis bones called the iliac crests at the top of your pelvis need to stay level with each other right and left throughout this exercise and your knee should be lined up over your second toe when you squat.  You can squat to a knee bend of approx 35-40 deg or less. You should be able to do at least 30 repetitions with solid technique to minimise stress on your hip, back and knee during jogging.

        4.  Quick flutter kicks on stomach:

Quick feet kicks with knee bends (on stomach), don’t touch the ground with your     feet, just above the ground.

This trains your hamstrings in velocity, you can add resistance to your hamstrings using a resistance band.  This helps prevent IT band syndrome and patellofemoral syndrome, if the quadriceps and hamstring strength is not in a balanced ratio you can develop knee pain or pain from the IT band rubbing.

*pictures to follow.

Quick Note:  These are some favorite preventative exercises, however, it is usually not as easy as 1,2,3,4.  So please seek the advise of a Physiotherapist if you run into pain or injury.

Hey! you do not have to live with it or necessarily stop your hobby!

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In the single leg squat, the part of your pelvis bones called the iliac crests at the top of your pelvis need to stay level with each other right and left throughout this exercise and your knee should be lined up over your second toe when you squat.  You can squat to a knee bend of approx 35-40 deg or less. You should be able to do at least 30 repetitions with solid technique to minimise stress on your hip, back and knee during jogging.

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