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MY TOP 4 FAVORITE INJURY PREVENTION EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS

Our bodies move in three planes of motion with walking and running. When I see people losing stability or motion in one of these three planes, injury can occur from compensations through a variety of areas: lower back, pelvis, hip, knee and ankle/foot. This is why it is so important to maintain joint mobility and intrinsic strength of your deep stabilizing muscles “up the chain” at the ribcage, pelvis and hips!


Because what’s better than a nice long run to decompress your mind and move your body after a long day of work?!


Keep your body healthy by doing these 4 great injury prevention exercises, so you don’t end up injured on the couch!!


Glute/Hamstring Bridge


1. Lie on your back with your feet elevated on a surface, such as a couch/chair, with your hips and knees bent to about 90- degrees.


2. Place a small ball or pillow between your knees.


3. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, performing a pelvic tilt so that your tailbone is raised slightly off the mat. Keep your back flat on the mat. Do not press your feet outwards, instead dig down with your heels. You should feel the muscles on the back of your thighs and butt muscles engage.


4. Hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.


5. Relax and repeat 4 more times


PROGRESSION: Once you have mastered this form, try performing a single leg version.



Adductor Pullback with Reverse Clamshell



1. Start by lying on your right side with a pillow between your ankles, hips and knees at a 90-degree angle and your back rounded.


2. Place your lower arm or a pillow under your head and upper hand on the floor in front of you to help stabilize your trunk.


3. Place a small ball or water bottle between your knees.


4. Slide or shift your left hip back as far as you can, so the bottle rotates. Do not let your back arch.


5. Press your left knee down into the bottle or ball. You should feel your left inner thigh engage.


6. Rotate your left thigh “in” by lifting your left lower leg towards the ceiling. You should feel your left outside hip (buttock) engage.


7. Either hold this position for 4-5 deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth or perform 10 repetitions in a row.


8. Relax and repeat 4 more times.



Fancy Clamshell with Trunk Rotation


1. Lie on your left side with your hips and knees bent up. Tuck your tailbone under.


2. Open up your chest slightly so your right chest is facing towards the ceiling.

3. Place your ankles on top of a 3-5 inch bolster or stack of pillows. Ideally place your feet firmly on a wall.


4. Place an appropriate strength resistance band around both thighs slightly above your knees.


5. Shift your right hip forward until you feel a slight stretch or pull in your LEFT outside hip.


6. Keeping your feet on the wall, raise your right knee keeping it shifted forward. You should feel your right outside hip (buttock) engage.


7. Hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.


8. Relax and repeat 4 more times



Single Leg Squat Clamshell Against Wall



1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and appropriate strength resistance band around your knees.


2. Place your right foot flat on the wall behind you.


3. Shift your right knee down and sidebend your trunk to the left to feel left abdominals engage.


4. Maintaining the above position, press your right foot/arch into the wall and rotate your right knee out against the resistance of the band. You should feel the muscles on the outside of your right hip (buttock) engage.


5. Keeping your right knee turned out, begin to squat down by bending your left knee. Place your right hand on the wall for stability. You should feel the muscles on the front of your left thigh and left outer hip (buttock) engage.


6. Either hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth or slowly repeat the right hip rotation 10x.


7. Relax and repeat 4 more times.



These exercises are based on original versions from the Postural Restoration Institute ® in Lincoln, NE.


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