Runners often skimp on cross training, strengthening and flexibility work in exchange for clocking more miles.
What stretching they do is often a simple hamstring, piriformis or quad stretch before or after a run. If we are lucky, maybe a few push ups or air squats are thrown in for good measure.
This approach ignores two key injury-prevention areas for runners: big toe and adductor flexibility. Ignoring these areas greatly increases your risk for plantar fasciitis, knee pain and IT band problems.
Your big toe needs to be able to flex back by at least 60 degrees to allow for proper running form.
Rigid shoes, previous injuries and desk-bound jobs tend to tighten up our feet. Here are videos for my two favorite toe flexibility drills you can use to improve your performance (click link to view): Toe Sitting and Japanese Sit. Start in each pose as long as you can stand it in the morning and evening. Within a few weeks, you should notice marked improvement in your foot mobility.
The adductor is often overlooked and can be the key for improving mechanics at your knee and hip as a runner.
It serves as the counter-balance to your IT Band, lateral quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Improve your adductor mobility by using the Frog Drill (click link to view).
Try 8-10 reps in each position in the morning and evening. It may be difficult at first, but your body will learn the new position quickly. If it's too hard on your knees, try doing it on a large bed for more cushioning.
If you are tired of pain limiting how much you can run and are ready for some real answers, book an appointment online with Dr. Erin Ducat -- Bloomingdale's triple-board certified sports chiropractor.
We will analyze how you move and custom design a recovery plan based on your goals. Hundreds of runners have crushed PR's and completed marathons with her help.
Why not you?