What exercises are good for runners?

There are exercises all runners should complete, and can be done at home in just a few minutes each day. These will help you feel better on your runs, and possibly prevent injury.

Many of these exercises use your own body weight as resistance, improve proprioception (your perception of stimuli relating to your position, posture, equilibrium or internal condition) and engage the activation of your core muscles. Runners need good strength and endurance from the foot all the way up to proper posture and position of head and shoulders, so look for specific exercises for foot intrinsic (flexor hallucis longus), calf, quads, hamstrings, piriformis, gluteus medius and maximus and core. If you’re ambitious, look for exercises for the QL (quadrates lumborum) and TFL (tensor fasciae latae). You can search online for good instructional images and accompanying explanations. These exercises should help train the body to work together as an efficient unit from start of your training to crossing the finish line of the race. Don’t forget to find exercises for lower back (lumbar spine), mid back (thoracic spine), as well as neck (cervical spine) and shoulders.

Stretching should target these same muscles. Research suggests a link between calf tightness and increased risk of metatarsal stress fractures, and basic stretching goes a long way toward injury prevention. Every runner will feel tight in different muscles, so find where you usually feel tight, sore, or restricted, and spend extra time loosening up these areas. Lastly, don’t forget the foam roller after your workout. This fantastic piece of equipment can be used for deep tissue work and freeing up restricted structures.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.