Preventative Exercises for New Runners
Stretch Your Quads
Running is a great way to work out your hamstrings, so working on your quads is key to keeping your leg muscles balanced and for preventing injuries like runner's knee. To strengthen your quads, try adding squats to your routine.
Stretch Your IT Band
If you've talked to regular runners, chances are you've heard them complain about IT band injuries or knee pain. Be proactive about these injuries by making sure you stretch out your IT band regularly, even if you aren't feeling any pain. Use a foam roller on the outside of your quads or do this standing exercise after a run to ensure you keep your IT band loose.
Counteract all that forward-moving motion you're doing with exercises that get you moving side to side. Exercises like side lunges and side planks help strengthen stabilizing muscles, which are important for ensuring you're running correctly and efficiently. Doing skater's lunges are also beneficial.
Do the Twist
Exercises that twist your trunk and spine can help realign your vertebrae, open your lungs, and increase your torso flexibility, all important for maintaining good form and posture, as well as preventing injuries, while you run.
Work on Balance
Improperly carrying weight on one side can lead to overuse injuries. Keep yourself balanced when your walk, stand, or run by incorporating these quick balancing exercises (as simple as standing on one foot for a minute!) into your day.
Don’t Forget the Feet
There are so many ways to injure those fatigued feet, so make sure that you take care of them before they happen. One of the most common running injuries is plantar fasciitis, where the thick band of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot becomes torn and inflamed. To prevents this, take a minute to do some toe scrunches when you wake up, while you're brushing your teeth, or at your desk.