If the current health crisis is doing anything for the fitness community, it is definitely forcing individuals and gyms to get innovative with ways to stay in shape while being cooped up at home, unless quick dashes for toilet paper count as a work out. Since exercise is one of the few allowable activities permitting those going stir crazy to get out of their home, more and more people are taking to running around their neighborhood or nearby trail to burn some calories. Running is a super convenient and simplistic method to get some cardiovascular exertion and vitamin D without requiring home workout equipment, a visit to the gym, or an uncomfortable lack of social distancing. However, running requires a high demand of strength and endurance, and not just for the heart and lungs. So much core and hip strength is required for running and running well. And the bottom line is many people acquire injuries from running due to lacking adequate muscular strength and endurance required for running.
At Austin Sports Medicine, we treat runners of varying abilities, from recreational one to two milers to elite distance runners. We can attest to the fact that runners of all levels and abilities frequently accumulate injuries of the hip, knee, foot and ankle, and all for the same reasons: the strength and endurance of the lower extremity muscles don’t outmatch the demand being placed on them. The best way to ensure you have the adequate strength to begin or progress a running regimen is to also have a good, supplemental strengthening program that targets the muscles with the highest strength and endurance demand for the task at hand.
Check out the following videos for our favorite, running specific exercises you should incorporate into your running program to decrease your risk of injury.