To run fast and injury free you need a balance of strength and coordination in all the right areas. Some big problem areas I have found from my experience as a runner and coach, are shins knees and backs.
Read on for 4 simple exercises that I use myself to get more out of running.
1. Single leg calf raises
If you struggle with shin pain, calf strength can be a contributor. I suggest doing one leg at a time so you don’t have the opportunity to favour one leg over the other. Doing this exercise without holding on also challenges your balance! Try 10-15 each side.
2. Hip hikes
Hip hikes strengthen your glute medius muscles which are responsible for keeping your hips level when you run. Without strong glute med muscles hip drop causes a collapse inward of the knee and a bend in the back, both of which can cause pain. Try 8 – 12 each side.
3. Single leg squats
Single leg squats improve the strength in your glute muscles, allowing better control and more power (which means you can run faster!). Doing one leg at a time forces you to balance and train both sides independently. Try not to hold on when doing these and most importantly keep your hips level (and facing forward) throughout. Try 8-12 each side.
As with hip hikes, a good core will reduce your hip drop and subsequent problems. Planks improve core strength, decrease rotation through the body while running and therefore prevent wasted energy (allowing you to run more efficiently!). Initially start with short holds of 15-20 seconds with short 5-10 seconds of rest between. Aim to build this up in duration to 1-2 minutes. When you are ready for a challenge ask us about dynamic planks
Complimenting your running with a strength program, even as simple as this, will make it more enjoyable as you are less fatiugued, less injured and faster (what an awesome bonus!).
If you’d like more info, don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us.
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