Stronger muscles, ligaments and tendons guard against injury and help improve gait consistency in ever runner. Try to incorporate these exercises into your training schedule and try to do them before every run to activate your running-specific muscles and stay injury-free.
1. Wall Press
This exercises helps to activate the glutes whilst in a bent knee position similar to when running.
Whilst standing next to a wall, bend your knee 90 degrees and make contact with the wall. Keep your body stable and push your knee into the wall. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat for 2-3 sets.
2. The Clam
Strengthens the side of your buttocks to improve knee and pelvic stability.
Lie on the floor on your side, legs stacked. Bend both knees, keeping legs and feet aligned. Open your knees like a clam shell keeping your feet together. Repeat for 2 sets of 30 repetitions.
*To increase the difficulty add an elastic theraband around your thighs.
3. Eccentric Calf Raise
Strengthens calves, ankle muscles, and the Achilles tendons, allowing for a more stable landing.
Stand on a curb or step with your heel off the edge. Lift up onto your toes, then slowly lower down until your heel is below the step. Start with a set of 10 on each leg. Build to three sets of 15.
*To increase difficulty progress to single leg or add weight.
4. Single Leg Squat
Improves knee alignment, strengthens and stabilises the pelvis and lower limbs.
Stand on one leg, ensuring your knees are in line with your toes. Lower your hips back and bend your standing knee. Lower as far as you can comfortably then push back up.
*If you can’t keep your hips even and your knee aligned over your foot, stick with just a normal squat or a single leg balance
5. Supine March
Strengthens the deep core muscles. The greatest challenge these muscles face in running is maintaining appropriate tension whilst the legs move freely and alternately. This exercise challenges this in a controlled manner.
Lie on your back with both knees sharply bent and your feet flat on the floor. Engage your deep set core by pressing your lower back into the floor. Whilst concentrating on keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, lift your left leg until your left foot comes even with your right knee. Now lower the foot back to the floor then repeat this movement with the alternate leg.