3 Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries from Occurring

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Today on this “Training Tuesday” – in what would have been the final taper week before the 2020 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon – I decided to take a break and share a guest post with you. Fellow Pittsburgh blogger Dr. Alex Tauberg is a Chiropractor and shared this post, “3 Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries from Occurring” with me. Considering I just tweaked my ankle, I think it is great timing. Enjoy!

For the most part, running is an incredibly safe activity, especially when compared to most sports out there.

But, certain biomechanical irregularities such as weak glutes, inactive or tight muscles, and side-to-side imbalances can cause some injuries either directly or indirectly (by worsening our running technique and leading to overuse).

So, runners should take preventive measures and avoid getting injured.

Today, we’ll take a look at three excellent exercises that focus on three underrated areas – the core, glutes, and hips.

Three Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries

1. Planks

The classic plank is an excellent exercise for runners because it trains the core, glutes, lower back, and hips. What’s more, the plank works isometrically (meaning, the muscles involved are contracted but not moving), which helps promote core and hip stability while running.

To perform it properly:

  • Get on all fours with your arms bent, and elbow directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs back and plant your toes firmly.
  • Contract your abs and glutes. Your body should be straight as an arrow.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can.

2. Reverse Lunges

The reverse lunge is another valuable exercise for runners because it simultaneously trains and develops our glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and core.

And, unlike the classic squat, lunges work our legs unilaterally (one at a time), which promotes stability and balance, while also preventing side-to-side imbalances from occurring.

To perform it:

  • Stand tall with your feet at hip-width level, chest out, gaze directed forward, and hands on your hips.
  • Step back with your right leg and sink into a lunge until you form a 90-degree bend on your front knee.
  • As you perform the lunge, make sure that your core is engaged, and your back is neutral.
  • Step back to the starting position and then repeat for your left leg.
  • Keep alternating between the two.

3. Single-Leg Deadlifts

The deadlift, while often overlooked, is among the best exercises for runners, because the hip hinge does a great job of developing the entire posterior chain – our hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back.

Also, doing it unilaterally (one leg at a time) will help fix any imbalances that might have occurred in your legs or hips. This will help you maintain proper running technique.

To perform these:

  • Stand tall with your chest up, feet at hip-width level, and arms to your sides.
  • Slowly raise your right leg back as you shift the weight on your left foot.
  • Hinge your hips to bend forward and simultaneously raise your right leg further back and up until your body almost forms the letter T.
  • Make sure to keep both legs straight throughout the movement, and don’t forget to keep your glutes and abs engaged. Your back should be entirely straight throughout each repetition.
  • Pause for a moment and return the right leg to starting position as you stand up.
  • Then, complete the remaining repetitions and repeat for your other leg.

Dr. Alex Tauberg is a Chiropractor Pittsburgh can trust to provide evidence based care. He primarily serves the Fox Chapel & Oakmont Areas. Dr. Tauberg uses an evidence based approach to get people out of pain and back to enjoying their active lifestyles. Dr. Tauberg has been certified by the University of Pittsburgh as a Primary Spine Practitioner, is a certified chiropractic sports practitioner, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and is an emergency medical responder.  He is also the team chiropractor for The Pittsburgh Vengeance.

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