Strength and Stretching Exercises for Runners
With the recent concerns of COVID-19 and closures or restrictions at many gyms, a growing number of people are incorporating running into their exercise routines.
This video will cover injury prevention, considerations for the appropriate volume for a running program, and post-run recovery techniques.
Follow along with Mackenzie Lefforge, DPT by clicking the video below.
Running requires core strength, glute strength, flexibility, and balance. Be proactive about running injuries and get ahead of them by strengthening and stretching these muscle groups.
To perform these exercises, you will need space to do exercises and a resistance band (for added difficulty if desired).
- Clamshells: Perform 3 sets of 10, 3-5 times per a week. Progress this exercise by adding a band above your knees
- Bridges: Perform 3 sets of 10, 3-5 time per week. Progress this exercise by adding a band above your knees as able, or by attempting a single leg bridge
To perform these stretches, you will need adequate space to do the exercises, as well as a belt, towel or stretching strap.
- Hip Flexor Stretch: While kneeling, keep your core tight, maintain good posture and shift your weight onto your front leg. This stretch should be felt in the front hip of the kneeling leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg.
- Hamstring Stretch: Lying on your back, use the stretching strap, a towel, or belt around the foot to raise the straight leg up. The other leg can be straight for a deeper stretch or bent to protect your back. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 3 reps for each leg.
- Calf Stretch: Standing near a counter top or wall, step your front leg back, keep your back leg straight, bend your front leg and feel the stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times on each leg. For a deeper stretch, you can do this off the edge of a stair.
Right after a run is also a great time to perform the stretching exercises above, as your muscles are warm and will respond well to stretching.
Self-massage, including foam rolling and tennis ball massage are helpful tools that can relieve muscle soreness.
- Foam Rolling: Your muscles may be sensitive to foam rolling, so do what you can. Aim to spend 2 minutes or so on areas like the quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Tennis ball Massage: For hamstrings, while seated, place a tennis ball under your thigh and roll up and down or side to side. If you find a particularly sensitive spot, leave the ball and extend your leg out and back 10 times, repeat as needed. For glutes, while standing by a wall, place a tennis ball behind your hip and lean into the ball against the wall. Also try mini squats or side to side massage while roll the ball through your glutes.
If you have questions the team at Orthopedic ONE can help! Click here to learn more about our Sports Medicine specialty and for a list of our Sports Medicine physicians. If you have questions or want to learn more ways to stay healthy, active and strong, consider connecting with one of our Certified Athletic Trainers through our Sports Medicine Hotline.