66% of Runners Injure Themselves Every Year… Learn Why

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66% of Runners Injure Themselves Every Year… Learn Why

Every year, 66% of runners experience some sort of injury. This is an even higher percentage than professional football players! So why then – in a sport of no contact like running – is the risk so high? Why do some run for a lifetime seemingly injury free while most of us suffer with hip, knee, ankle, and even back and shoulder issues?

The determining factor seems to be strength training. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that strength training reduced sports injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries could be almost halved. That’s a significant finding so if you’re a recreational or competitive runner, listen up!

So for runners, what are the best exercises to prevent injury?

There are runner specific strength exercises that increase the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the impact of running. And adding heavy resistance exercises, in particular, can make you faster during your final sprint of the race.

Compound Movements – Exercises that train movement – as opposed to simply working a single target muscle – are ideal for runners. Some classic exercises include deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, and step ups. These exercises mimic what we do everyday in real life like pushing and pulling, picking things up, and bending down. Getting some professional oversight in the form of a certified personal trainer that in one session can teach you how to complete these exercises with proper form can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

Bodyweight Exercises – These can be done anywhere, including in-home, and help you recover and prevent injury by building strength. Some examples include lunges, push-ups, side planks, planks, and side leg lifts. All build core strength as well.

Hip Strengtheners – For runners, the majority of injuries aren’t in the knee joint. They most often occur in the hips. This is a major area runners need to tend to, especially if you sit for most of the day. Hip and glute strength are two of the most important stabilizing muscles while running. Proper squat form is critical, with variations including side squats, step-ups and side step-ups to target the various muscles in the hips and glutes.

Tips

  • Strength train after you run (immediately after or later in the day) on moderate effort days.
  • Do bodyweight exercises right after your run; they’ll help you warm-down properly by increasing your range of motion and preventing adhesions/knots in you muscles from the build up of scar tissue.
  • Start slow and build from there; add more exercises or reps as you go.

Get started and stay healthy!

Simplicity is the best policy. A qualified and experienced certified personal trainer can put together a strength training workout that’s tailored to you, and can demonstrate proper form, common mistakes and answer any questions you have. Once you understand your program and can complete it safely on your own, periodic adjustments can be made by checking back in with your fitness trainer. When you consider the risks of injury and losing the ability to do something you love to do, a small investment in a certified personal trainer can yield enumerable lifelong benefits. Don’t be in the 66%! Remember, just 10 to 20 minutes of strength work each day will reduce your injury risk dramatically and will help you run more, train better and race faster.

Read 2828 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 21:50

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