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3 Exercises Every Runner Should Try

As spring starts many of us return to running outside. But if it’s been awhile since you ran outside you may be at risk for injury if you jump right back into it. Developing a cross-training program can help prevent running injuries as you ramp up those mikes. Try these 3 important exercises if you are heading outdoors to run.

Side Stepping: completing this exercise will help maintain hip strength and prevent knee, hip, and ankle injuries. To complete this exercise use a theraband loop and place it around your ankles. Keeping the toes pointed straight ahead, slowly side step to one side without leaning. Complete 10 steps and then return in the other direction. Complete 2 sets. You should feel the exercise in your hips.

Soleus Calf Raise: Keeping the soleus (a muscle in the calf) strong can help prevent shin splints, stress fractures, and ankle pain. To complete this exercise, stand on one foot. Bend the knee and then (while keeping the knee bent) lift the heel up and down off the floor. Repeat 10 times and complete 2 sets. Then try it on the other leg. You should feel the calf muscle working.

IT Band Foam Rolling: The IT Band is a long tendon that runs down the outside of the leg and attaches at the knee. Keeping this tendon flexible can prevent hip and knee injuries. But since it is such a think tendon it can be hard to stretch. However using a foam roller can be a great way to maintain flexibility and treat tightness. To complete this exercise, start by laying on a foam roller on one side of the leg. Straighten the bottom knee and bend the other, placing the foot on the floor. Slowly roll the side of your leg up and down the roller stopping just above the knee. Repeat this for about 3 minutes and then complete on the other side. The stretch should be felt along the outside of the leg.

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