There is nothing more frustrating then being injured. In Australia 70% of all runners will experience an overuse injury within 12 months. So what can you do to decrease your risk of injury and still maximize your running performance?
Conventional wisdom is that you should stretch the muscles that are tight and strength the muscles that are weak. Classic runners stretches calf, quad, hamstring. However studies show not only does stretching decrease performance by 28% but it can increase injury risk.
The secret is to train and warm up the movements that your body is expected to do when you run. Not only will this decrease your risk of injury but can also increase your performance.
Before your next run try these three basic exercises:
Best for: ankle or foot pain
Stand on one leg with the other leg to the side just to keep you balanced. Bend down like you are going to sit on a chair, focusing on the majority of movement coming from your ankle and hips.
Best for: lower back pain
As you step forward into a lunge throw your hands in the air above your head. Keep your chest tall and push back to starting position using your front leg.
Best for: knee pain
Standing on one leg hop backwards and forwards. The key is to sound light on your feet and minimize contact with the ground. Try 10 repetitions of each exercise.