How Sports Chiropractors Prevent Injury in Runners

  • Pelvic rocks: Rock the pelvis from front to back and side to side. "This lubricates the joints of your lower back," says Duke.
  • Backstroke arm swings: Swing your straightened arms behind you in a backstroke swimming motion. "There's a slight rotation that occurs in the shoulders when running," says Duke.
  • Thoracic twists: Twist your torso to the left, twist to the right, and repeat. This movement activates your rib cage.

Move dynamically before running to prepare the body, and stretch after to ward off injury. "You never want to stretch before the run because it de-activates the muscles you want active to propel you forward," says Duke. "But it's hazardous not to stretch. Do it after you run, but it doesn't have to be immediately after—you can do it later in the day."

Stretch the following muscle groups: hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, quadratus lumborum ("hip hikers"), piriformis and low back, and make sure to do so every day that you run. Stretch for about 30 seconds on each side for each exercise. A complete stretching routine should take about five minutes.

Combined, the warm-up and stretches occupy seven minutes—not a lot of time compared to the hours you could spend on injury rehabilitation.

More: 5 Injury-Prevention Stretches for Runners

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