Lower extremity (LE) strength/stability training is crucial for runners in order to optimize running performance and decrease risk of injury. So what muscles should runners emphasize when working on LE stability training? In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to target your core, glutes (and lateral glutes), calf muscles, and foot intrinsic muscles. Here are a few exercise examples:
- Reverse lunge to high knee: Bring one leg back, with knee hovering towards the ground and toes pointed. Drive knee up, focusing on tightening your core and pointing toes up towards the ceiling.
- Standing hip abduction: Place resistance band above your knees. Standing on one leg, lift raised leg back diagonally as you keep your pelvis level. You should have a slight bend in your standing leg, with your weight mostly in your heel. Perform 10-15 reps then repeat on the opposite side.
- Elevated pike to knee tuck: Place feet on the edge of a raised box/step, with hands planted firmly on the ground, back straight. Keeping your back straight, tighten your core as you slowly lower your knees towards the ground. Straighten knees then repeat.
- Single leg eccentric heel raise: Stand on one leg with the edge of your foot off a step. Rise up onto your toes then slowly lower your heel. Perform 10-15 reps then repeat on the opposite side.
Of course, these exercise examples are not appropriate for everyone. Interested in creating an individualized stability program? Give us a call or message us today, we would love to help you meet your running goals!