When a lot of people start running, they often don’t have much experience in strength work. Little do they know that strength training is the key to an increase in performance and remaining injury free!
If you visit a physio, podiatrist or other health care practitioner with an injury, chances are they won’t recommend more running. Instead, they will prescribe an exercise programme comprising both mobility and strength training.
Each step that you take while running, will see around 2-3 times your own body weight being transferred through your leg. If you’re lacking the strength to do this, then you are almost guaranteed an injury. I don’t want to scare you off running, but don’t underestimate the strength required!
Here are a few exercises that may keep you injury free.
Planking involves a lot of core and body stability. There are many different variations of this exercise, each aiming towards different areas.
1/4 depth squats
When running 1/4 depth squats are the most efficient. It mimics the range of motion needed while running.
1/4 depth Bulgarian barbell split squats
When running one foot is on the ground and the other is off. Single leg exercises mimic this and help make it more sport specific
Weighted Step up
Using a bar bell over your shoulders helps make this exercise harder. Again the single leg makes this sport specific.
single leg calf raises
Again single leg makes this more sport specific. It also makes sure there are no variances in strength between each leg.
Power hang clean
This helps with shoulder, core, leg and back strength. Performing these fast will also help increase speed.
Nordic hamstring curls
Proven to reduce the risk of hamstring injuries in athletes
Helping to role out those sore tight muscles and increase flexibility can help reduce risk of injury.
You should try to perform these exercises for at least 8-12 reps and 3 sets with a 30second break between sets.
The foam roller should be performed for about 30seconds per muscle group and repeated 3 times.
You should note that some of these exercises are quite difficult and require a lot of strength and stability. you should always chat to your health care specialist (physio) before performing to make sure the have the adequate technique, strength and flexibility required.