Stretches & Exercises to Help Prevent Injuries From Walking & Running

Yesterday we posted about some of the most common injuries you can experience from running and walking. Today, we wanted to post some stretches and exercises to help prevent those injuries.

Stretches:

All of these Stretches can be performed before and after your workout, and wherever you are running/walking. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2x each.

Bottle Roll (for relief of Plantar Fasciitis):

Use a frozen water bottle (plastic, no glass).  In sitting or standing roll the bottom of your foot with moderate pressure. Use as much pressure as you can tolerate without discomfort.

Standing Calf/Achilles Stretch:

Start by standing in front of a wall or other sturdy object. Step forward with one foot and maintain your toes on both feet to be pointed straight forward. Keep the leg behind you with a straight knee during the stretch.

Lean forward towards the wall and support yourself with your arms as you allow your front knee to bend until a gentle stretch is felt along the back of your leg that is most behind you.

Move closer or further away from the wall to control the stretch of the back leg. Also you can adjust the bend of the front knee to control the stretch as well.

Repeat with back knee  bent to get an Achilles stretch (Soleus Stretch).

Sitting Hamstring Stretch:

While sitting with your leg stretched out, reach forward with your hands towards touching your toes.

Standing IT band stretch:

In a standing position, cross the affected leg behind your unaffected leg.

Next, with your arm over head, lean to the side towards the unaffected leg.

Standing Quad stretch:

While in a standing position, bend your knee back behind and hold your ankle/foot.

Next, gently pull your knee into a more bent position until a stretch is felt on the front of the thigh.

Exercises:

These exercises consist of hip and leg strengthening exercises to help prevent injury with running or walking. Do each exercise 3 x 10 reps for each side

Clams:

Lie on your side, knees bent. With feet planted together, open and close your knees.

Lateral Leg Raises:

Lie on your side, propped up on one elbow. With your bottom leg bent, slowly raise your straight top leg, being careful not to let your toes point up as you raise the leg. Lower slowly back to your start position.

Fire Hydrants:

In all fours position, raise your bent leg up to the side, and back again. This exercise got it’s name because it mimics a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. 🙂

Hip Extension:

In all fours position raise your leg up behind you as shown. Keep your knee bent at 90 degrees the entire time.

Wall Sit Squats:

Slowly lower to the wall sit/squat position of knees at 90 degrees to the floor, not letting your knees go over your toes, then back to standing.

Heel Raises:

While standing, raise up on your toes as you lift your heels off the ground. This can also be done on a step where your toes are on the edge of the step and you raise up as high as you can then slowly lower back down letting the heel hang just below the step.

 

Photo Credit: www.hep2go.com 

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