Recently, we paid a visit to Run Raleigh Physical Therapy to ask a few of the most frequent questions we hear from runners about training and injury prevention. One factor in preventing injury that runners too often neglect is strength training. "The nice thing about strength training for running is you really don't need a lot of equipment and most of these things can be done at home," says practice owner Abby Douek, PT/MPT. According to Abby, the most important things to focus on for good running form are glute strength and posture. With that in mind, here are some of Abby's favorite exercises to help runners improve form and avoid injury.
"I love planks. You can work the core and the glutes at the same time which is really important for running posture," Abby says.
It's not all about the legs! Runners need to work on upper body strength as well. This move works the upper back and core to promote good running posture.
Running is a single-leg sport (all your weight will be on one leg at a time) so Abby says single-leg strengthening is important to support each landing in the gait cycle.
Glutes play a major role in maintaining good running form. Abby says keeping the feet and knees aligned helps you "sit more into the glutes rather than overloading the thighs."
"This is an exercise that is very much quality over quantity," Abby notes. "It is not cheating to hold on."
This simple move improves mobility and can help prevent injuries like plantar fasciitis.