5 Best Physical Therapy Exercises for Runners

Weighted Single Leg Heel Raises

If you want calf muscles like a cyclist, these will get you there.

 

Why this exercise?
Calf strength is often overlooked when it comes to strength training. However, your calves and ankle-stabilizing muscles are your first line of defense when your foot strikes the ground. Strong and reactive calves allow you to have more spring in your step and will help to prevent injury elsewhere in the lower body. 

When should you perform the exercise? 
This exercise should be performed two to three times per week along with the Bulgarian split squats. Like the split squats, do not be afraid to increase the amount of weight you are lifting as you get stronger. 

Donkey Kicks

Don’t worry, no donkey noise is required.

 

Why this exercise?
Donkey kicks are a great exercise to recruit your gluteus maximus (butt) and to promote hip mobility while running. When running, it is important to have adequate hip extension, and the gluteus maximus is the primary muscle responsible for this. Donkey kicks promote hip extension while stabilizing the trunk.

When should you perform the exercise?
This exercise is best performed prior to going on a run, as it will help with mobilizing your hips and getting gluteal musculature firing. 

Hip Circles

It’s more fun than running in circles.

 

Why this exercise?
As we have said before, hip mobility is essential for runners. Hip circles recruit many hip muscls, as you are moving in multiple planes while at the same time mobilizing the hip itself. 

When should you perform the exercise? 
This exercise is best performed prior to going on a run as it will help get your hips moving efficiently.

READ THIS NEXT: 13 Core Exercises for Runners

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