Running Injury Prevention Routine

Do your legs feel tight and sluggish when you first start running?

As a triathlete, I have had my fair share of running injuries.  Many of them probably could have been avoided with proper running technique and body strength. 

Something that I have found to be helpful is incorporating this 5-minute warm-up routine that I have picked up from conversations with fellow athletes and different articles (i.e.runnersworld.com, competitor.com, etc.)  

This 4-step routine will help with injury prevention by:

1.  Increasing flexibility in the legs and feet

2. Stabilize key muscles in hips and core

3.  Activating key muscles to promote good running form 

Step 1: Myofascial tension release for running. 

 

Description:  With light to medium pressure stand on a la cross or tennis ball and roll your foot in a back and forth motion. 

Benefit:  The soles of your feet contain multiple trigger points.   Releasing these trigger points with the use of a la cross ball before exercise can help loosen connective tissue that runs all the way up your body.   There are claims this exercise will help loosen tight hamstrings.

Step 2: Single Leg Bridge Hip Raises

 

Description: Lie on your back on the floor and bend both knees so that your feet rest on the ground close to your butt. Brace your abs and raise one leg up and bring the knee toward your chest. Drive the heel of the other foot into the floor. Bridge up until your body is in a straight line.

 Do 2 sets of 10 for each side.

Benefit:  By doing this exercise before running you will be actively engaging your glutes and core to help promote better posture while running.  Better posture will help prevent running injuries due to poor body alignment.

Step 3: Rear Donkey Kick

Description:  Get on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips, head neutral.  Keeping your knee bent 90 degrees, lift one leg behind you and press the sole of your shoe toward the ceiling until your thigh is parallel to the floor. 

Do 2 sets of 10 for each side.

Benefit:  Similar benefit as step # 3 exercise.

Step 4: Fire Hydrate Side Raise

 

 

Description:  Get on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips, head neutral.  Keeping your knee bent 90 degrees, lift your leg — still bent 90 degrees — up and to the side, raising it as high as you can while keeping your hips square. Lower to the start to complete one rep. 

Do 2 sets of 10 reps for each side.

Benefit:  This exercise will help strengthen the hips and glutes.  Stronger hips and glutes help promote good running form and will help prevent injuries.