Get Strong, Stay Healthy
Experts agree that one of the best ways to prevent injuries is to strength train. Any weakness in your kinetic chain can compromise your form, leading to gait changes that increase your risk of getting injured. Plus, strong muscles absorb more of the force that occurs when you strike the ground, meaning less of it remains to damage your bones, joints and ligaments. Perform this routine (designed by coach and personal trainer Jeff Horowitz) two or three times per week. Start with one set of 10 reps of each exercise and work your way up to two sets of 20 reps. Squeezed for time? Focus on just doing the moves in the magenta circles. These target the hip muscles that keep your pelvis stable while you run, which is critical for injury prevention.
● Hold one leg straight out and off the floor, and do the move on the other leg. Switch legs and repeat.
Stand on your right leg. Tip your body forward, raising your left leg behind you, back, arms and right leg straight. Return to starting position. After one set, repeat on the other leg.
● To really work your stabilising muscles, don’t touch your leg down between reps.
Start in a sideplank position, balancing on your left elbow. Holding your body in a straight line, lower your hips until they’re 2-3cm off the ground, then raise back up for one rep. After one set, repeat on the other side.
Hold your opposite arm in the air to work your core.
Step out to your left, bending that knee 90 degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Step back to starting position. Repeat in the opposite direction, stepping out to the right and bending your right knee, for one rep.
● Do the move holding a dumbbell or medicine ball to your chest.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips until your knees form a straight line with your upper body. Lower back down to complete one rep.
Stand holding a light dumbbell vertically with both hands. With your legs wide apart, bend into a dead lift, bum out and back slightly arched. As you straighten, swing the dumbbell overhead. Lower to the starting position for one rep.
● Use a heavier dumbbell.
Lie face down, palms just outside your armpits. Extend your elbows to raise your body, then lower down to a few centimetres off the floor for one rep. If this is too hard, place your palms on a step to elevate your upper body.
● Try it with your feet resting on a stability ball.
Stand holding a dumbbell with both hands. Start with the dumbbell by your left outer hip, then rotate to swing it up and above your right shoulder. Keep your arms straight and follow the weight with your eyes. Repeat on the other side for one rep.
Use a heavier dumbbell.
Sit with your knees bent, heels on the ground, while you hold a medicine ball. Keeping your back straight, lean backward. Twist to the right and then the left – almost touching the medicine ball to the ground. That’s one rep.
● Keep your feet off the floor and do the same movement. Lie on your left side with your legs straight. Raise your right leg as high as you can, then bring it back down for one rep. After completing one set, switch to the other side and repeat.
● Start in side-plank position, resting on one elbow while raising the opposite leg.
Start in a straight-armed plank with your feet on an exercise ball. Keep your upper body steady and bend your knees, rolling the ball towards you. Tuck your legs in fully and then extend your legs again for one rep.
Add a press-up between reps.