Did you know 80 percent of runners suffer from injuries? Learn to run pain-free.
Aches, pains and lingering soreness are somewhat common in a runner’s life, and most runners learn to live with it, for the love of their life, running. It’s possible to run injury free and all you need is just 15 to 20 minutes to perform strength training exercises twice a week to cut down your injury risk.
In case you are wondering, isn’t running suffice as an exercise? The answer is yes, but each time you run, you place the weight of your whole body on the feet, ankle and hip joints that stress your lower back. Long hours of sitting at the desk doesn’t work in favour of your glutes, as it makes hip flexor muscles work overtime and the remaining two muscles, of your gluteus, forget how to work. Combine it with poor posture and weak muscles, particularly gluteus, known commonly as buttocks and it makes you prone to injuries. A session of warm-up and strength training exercise before you pound the pavement greatly helps.
A warm up session prior to a run dilates your blood vessels, loosens muscles to protect against a pull or tear. Warming up also raises the heart rate that helps minimize stress on your heart, when you begin to run. Strength training engages different muscles through varied movements and it also helps build lean muscles to fire your body during tough runs and maintains bone strength and density. Additionally, it keeps your metabolism active to enable weight loss. A solid strength training program can help runners achieve a more balanced musculature for greater power and a lower injury risk.
1. Lateral Movements
Technically, runners only move forward. Therefore, it is important to train your body through other movements like backwards or sideways. Lateral movements allow you to engage neglected muscle like outer thigh and inner thigh. They also help increase stability at your joints, improve balance and prevent injury.
To build a strong upper, particularly chest, arms, shoulders, you need to do pushups. This core-strengthening move improves muscle joint stability and strength that reduces the risk of developing overuse injuries from running. Enhanced core strength also works to improve your stamina and strength during running by reducing inefficient technique.
Strong abdominals and lower back muscles allow you to run with a better posture and the plank is one of the best ways to train every muscle in your core. For planks, you need to get in the pushup position, bend your elbows at 90 degrees and your body should form a straight line from your head to your hips. Even though you don’t move in a plank, you’ve to contract your abs to hold the position, which makes your core strong, particularly your abs, obliques, lower back, and hips.
This is the single most effective exercise that you can perform to strengthen the entire lower body. Squatting helps runners improve basic athletic skills. When done properly, squat helps engage posterior, stabilize hips, knees and ankles and how to move ahead with proper posture and maintain it during running. Since squats strengthen your knees, they help prevent knee pain and injury.
The lunge warms up the lower body and increases mobility and flexibility in the legs and hips and it emphasizes the forward movement of your body. Moreover, lunges add to your stride length that helps in running faster. You can hold a dumbbell while doing lunges to maximize its efficiency.
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands against your chest. Push your chest out and take a large step backward, lowering your rear knee toward the floor.
- Push up through your front heel, driving your rear knee forward and up toward your chest, extending your arms overhead. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
Include the specific strength training moves in your workout regime to amp your speed while running. With these moves, you can run faster, stronger and injury-free.