Running is a sport that is often associated with various injuries, and usually for good reason. But although the continuous motion of running can be cause for a great deal of aches, pains, sprains, strains and more, it is entirely possible to prevent these running injuries from occurring.
Completing regular injury prevention exercises is a simple way to stay healthy during training.
One of the biggest mistakes runners make is failing to acknowledge or treat a running injury until it is causing regular pain. Especially because adding a few simple injury prevention exercises to your regular strength training routine may be all it takes to beat these running injuries before they even occur.
No matter how hard you train, how seriously you recover, or how healthy your body may be, all runners are susceptible to injuries due to the nature of the sport.
Unfortunately, running injures often stop us in our tracks right in the middle of a great training season or just before a goal race. And when an injury strikes, it is often hard to get rid of.
Rather than waiting to treat an injury once it occurs, a simple way to stay on top of your health during training is to incorporate some strength exercises and stretches that will keep your muscles strong, loose and limber.
Try adding these 3 quick injury prevention exercises to your regular training routine to stay strong and flexible on the run.
Check out the top 3 injury prevention exercises for runners.
The Top 3 Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners
The Heel Toe Walk is an incredibly effective and simple injury prevention exercise for runners.
Walking on your heels helps strengthen the shin muscle to protect your shins and help prevent shin splints from occurring. Walking on your toes strengthens the calves and ankles to promote balance and help prevent common lower leg running injuries.
To complete this injury prevention exercise, begin by finding an open area. Taking regular sized steps, first walk around the area on your heels. Keep your toes elevated with each step, never letting them touch the floor.
Next, walk around the area on your toes, keeping your heels lifted from the floor with each step. Engage your calf muscles to keep your heels lifted as you walk.
Seated Quad & Hip Flexor Stretch
This seated stretch is an excellent way to loosen both the quads and hip flexors before or after a run. Performing this stretch is an excellent injury prevention exercise that all runners should get in the habit of completing on a regular basis.
Not only does this exercise stretch out the calves and hip flexors, but it does so in a way that is more effective and intense than the classic standing or lunging stretches. Some of the most common running injuries occur due to inactive or tight upper leg muscles. This seated stretch is a great way to maintain flexibility throughout the entire region.
To complete this injury prevention stretch, begin by kneeling about a foot in front of a couch or chair. Place one foot on the floor to maintain balance, and lift the opposite foot to rest on the edge of the couch. Lean your hips forward as you push into the couch, feeling the stretch in your quads and hip flexors.
Related: 15 Essential Post-Run Stretches
Single Leg Deadlift
The Single Leg Deadlift is an excellent injury prevention exercise for runners, as it provides a multitude of isolated strengthening benefits for each side of the body.
Performing a single leg deadlift promotes full body balance, single leg strength, as well as core and upper body control. This exercise is a great way to isolate each side of the body to prevent muscle imbalances and inactivity that often occur on the run.
To perform this injury prevention exercise, begin by standing with your feet about hip width distance apart. Lift one foot from the floor, balancing on a single leg, and lean forward with your upper body.
While doing so, continue to lift your foot into the air, keeping the entire leg straight. Reach for the floor with your opposite hand, lowering until your leg and upper body form a straight line. Rise back up to standing slowly and with control, and then repeat on the opposite side.
By adding these three simple injury prevention exercises to your regular training routine, you’ll keep your muscles strong, loose and active without dedicating a great deal of extra time each week.
Taking a few extra minutes each day or week to complete these exercises will help you avoid suffering from a full-blown running injury when you least expect it. Spending time strengthening and stretching the most troublesome muscles now may prevent days or weeks of unplanned time off in the future.
Test out the top 3 injury prevention exercises for runners this week to stay healthy and injury free during training!
More running injury prevention tips:
- 6 Habits of Runners to Prevent Running Injuries
- 5 Signs of a Running Injury: Is it Pain or Discomfort?
- 6 Steps to Recover from a Running Injury