Thursday, June 10, 2010

Injury Prevention Workout for Runners

Running consists of moving your arms and your legs in a synchronized forward motion. Movements of your arms and legs in this forward direction is called moving in the sagittal plane. If all you do is run, your muscle movement in the sagittal plane is awesome, but if for some reason you suddenly need to move laterally (sideways) or twist or rotate when you're running, your muscles may not know quite how to react.

You may be wondering when this would occur. It can happen at any moment. If you step off a curb and land the wrong way, or maybe you're having to jump over a pot hole, or maybe you land it a pot hole, your body can suddenly be shifted from that comfortable forward movment into a sideways or rotational movement.

Everyone's familiar with the main leg muscles (calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes), but there are also tiny little stabilizer muscles that assist with balance and support. However, just like with any muscle, if you don't lose it, you tend to lose it. So, if you rarely move in the frontal plane(lateral movement, abduction, adduction) or the transverse plane (twisting or rotational movement), those stabilizer muscles may be either too slow to react causing a fall, or that slow reaction (or no reaction) may cause the other "main" leg muscles to over react resulting in a muscle strain or tear.

Doing a weekly workout in which you move your body in the non-traditional running planes will result in increased strength and balanace in your main leg muscles as well as all the little stabilizer muscles.

Below is a video clip of a simple (yet challenging) workout that's great to do once a week. It even makes a great dynamic stretch before a long run.

16 comments:

Jenna said...

Great tip, thanks =)

Cynthia O'H said...

Great reminder of the importance of muscle strength. Thanks.

Zoë said...

Excellent post. I'm definitely going to try this out!

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Jenna!Hope all's well your way!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Cynthia! As I get older, I see more and more the importance of it. Age....it's such a lovely thing. LOL!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Zoë! Awesome! Let me know what you think. Hope you're doing well.

Barbie said...

Thankyou so much for posting those wonderful exercises. I will definately incorporate these as I try to get stronger in my running.

RunnerDude said...

Sure thing, Barbie! If you try out this workout, take the 1-legged exercises slowly, they're great, but a little difficult compared to the two-legged ones. You'll get them though. Hope all is going well.

Stacey said...

Thanks for the tips! Have a great weekend!

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Stacey! You too!

Joe said...

Awesome. I am always open to new exercises.

Lauren said...

weird looking :D LOL

RunnerDude said...

Hi Joe! Cool. Let me know if you try out the exercises.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Lauren! Me or the workout? LOL!! Give it a try. Good workout for your legs. It's kind of in the same realm as exercises using an agility ladder but without the long ladder.

Ed said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'm just starting out with this whole "serious about running" gig. Your posts have been very helpful so far. Thanks again!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Ed!! Welcome to the club!Glad the posts have been helpful. If you have any questions along the way, be sure to email me at runnerdudeblog (at symbol) yahoo (dot) com