It is very important to have a good strength and control base when returning to running, especially if you are coming back from injury or have just had a baby!
It is crucial to have a slow and steady build into your running, but these exercises should help you to return with better form, reduced risk of injury and hopefully make it more enjoyable to be out there again.
They work on the key components of running:
– Using the correct muscles at the right timings!
– Having good single leg control!
– Being strong enough to tolerate the higher load/impact through the legs when running compared to walking.
Exercise 1: Glut Squeeze
How? Squeeze your bum cheeks left and right alternatively WITHOUT tensing up any other muscles.
Why? Gets your braining more in tune with your biggest bum muscle which is really important when running and this is more likely to kick in when you are running.
Exercise 2: Glut Bridge
How? Lying on your back, knees bent up, squeeze bum cheeks together and then drive hips up towards ceiling, hold for 3sec and then return to the ground.
Why? Works on glut max (big bum muscle) strength to provide a stronger drive phase in running. This will help to stop overloading your calves but also make you faster!
Exercise 3: Side Lying Leg Raise
How? Lying on your side, raise your top leg up about 30degrees and slowly lower, try to feel in your side bum rather than at the front of your hip.
Why? Works on glut med (side bum muscle) which keeps your leg in good alignment when running.
Exercise 4: Single Leg Squats
How? Standing on one leg (other foot can rest on step behind or even on tip toes for balance) and perform single leg squat. Aiming to keep knee over 2nd toe, your body straight and your pelvis on the opposite side nice and high. Doing this in front of a mirror is good for your technique.
Why? Running is a series of single leg squats one after the other, so it is recommended to perform this movement slowly with good control so that it carries over into running.
Exercise 5: Pelvic Floor!!
How? You were probably taught these activation exercises to do while you were pregnant – connecting your pelvic floor, slowly lifting upwards, turning on the muscles that stop you going to the toilet, etc.
Why? Your pelvic floor is a vital part of core stability and needs to be funcitoning very well to cope with the stresses of running. It is NO fun running with a poorly functioning pelvic floor!!!
If you find any of these exercises hard or painful (especially the pelvic floor ones) then come in and see one of us at Back In Action Physio – we would love to help you get back running!!
– You need to make sure it’s a safe amount of time post baby to return to running.
– These are just the initial exercises to get your brain into gear. Once you really get going there are progressions we give you in standing which are more running specific.