4 Best Single-Leg Exercises for Runners
The thing with a lot of strength work is that it doesn’t actually target what you need to run better. Deep squats are kind of useless. Almost everyone sinks through running range meaning gravity does the work on the way down and they push from the deep squat and momentum rushes them through the last 40 degrees. Basically, they miss the functional strength ranges. What’s worse is the deep squat puts unnecessary load on the knees that can make them worse. A lot of strength programs can be full of stuff like that.
In this video, Physio Shayle takes you through four running-specific exercises that target the muscles and ranges you need to run better. *Remember, comfy at all times. If you have pain or injury, check with doc prior to commencing any program!!
- Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift
Targets the posterior chain, calf, glutes, hamstrings, and back. Make sure to control the weight shift forward so the glutes and hamstrings work constantly down then all the way back to neutral again. If you rush, muscles will miss functional ranges meaning gravity and then momentum does the work.
- Single Leg Calf Raise
This is good for calf strength as well as balance (proprioception) for running. Try to keep the knee tracking up over the 2nd toe. Start 2 seconds up then 2 seconds back down. Stronger calves are important after a calf injury…Why wait? Get into them proactively!
- Single Leg ¼ Squat
This gives you a good idea of strength and balance for your running. Often people start and hips drop, and knees are unstable. Be aware of this and consciously think of what that instability is doing to the efficiency of your running. Very quickly, it will be easier to keep the butt and quad working at the same time. Stability will improve and so will your running.
*Tip: If you find it hard to activate the butt and thigh (quad) at the same time, do two sets. The first solely concentrates on the butt then the second focus just on the quad. Very quickly you will be able to get both firing together.
- Single Leg Bridge
This is a great core strength exercise targeting the glutes as well as hamstrings in running ranges. Remember, set abs first, inhale to prepare and move on the exhale for stability. Again, don’t rush. That way glutes will fire all the way to straight and then all the way back down without just dropping with gravity. Buns of steel are great for running!!
These exercises are an awesome addition to taking your running to the next level. We get athletes to do them on alternate running days. They also work well as components of a warm-up. That way glutes and quads fire immediately. Just back off the reps so you don’t fatigue before you start!!
Check it out!
Now every gym is different and not everyone has access to a gym, so if you are interested in learning some variations of these exercises to adapt to your own environment don’t hesitate to respond to this email, give us a call or pop in to see us in the clinic.
To book an appointment call us at 07 3847 8040
For more information check us out at blphysio.com.au