Get Strong, Stay Healthy

Runner's World (UK) - - Injury Predictor -

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.

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