5 Best Physical Therapy Exercises for Runners

As runners, one of our worst fears is getting injured. We are told that core workouts, functional movements and recovery are keys to our running health, but generally speaking, we are terrible at injury prevention. Why? Because it’s not running. Even so, to remain a robust runner and avoid injury, strength exercises should be part of your weekly workouts. Cody McGrath from Mondo Sports Therapy in Austin, Texas, gives runners five exercises they can do to stay healthy.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarians gave us yogurt, Grigor Dimitrov and this fun exercise.

 

Why this exercise?
Running requires single leg stability and strength over and over again during the course of your workout. Each time your foot strikes the ground while running, ground reaction forces are roughly three times your body weight. This means you need each individual leg to be as strong possible. Bulgarian split squats force you to strengthen one leg at a time without compensation from a more dominant leg. 

When should you perform the exercise? 
This exercise incorporates easily into your training routine; it can be done two to three times per week to keep your legs strong. Challenge yourself and lift fairly heavy, as your body will adapt to the loads you put on it. Do not be afraid to increase the weight you lift as you get stronger.

Plank/Side Plank

You have probably done thousands of them, but are you doing them right?

Plank

Side Plank

 

Why this exercise?
Core and trunk stability are essential for runners. A runner’s ability to stabilize their trunk while they run is important for multiple reasons. It prevents excessive shearing in the spine and also allows for proper pelvic positioning, which leads to better lower body muscle recruitment.

When should you perform the exercise?
This exercise should be performed at least two to three times per week during strength training sessions but can also be done prior to a run, as it allows for improved recruitment of core musculature prior to a hard workout. If this is a new exercise for you, start with 30-second hold times and gradually increase towards one minute.

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