Techniques to improve running & avoid injuries

Fitness enthusiast men admire running, whether it’s on a treadmill or in the park or on roads. Men are found to adopt running as the best fitness regime or even as a hobby as it gives them an adrenaline rush. But it is a fact that running is one of the hardest practices to follow to be in good shape. It leaves impact on different body parts at the same time including the heart, knees and muscles. It is always advised to be careful when running as it can be harmful as much as it is beneficial if done with improper technique. It is essential to have a proper technique to train muscles and bones for long-term benefits. 

According to a 2015 study named ‘Injuries In Runners’ states that the “predominant site of leg injuries is the knee”, and that the other most common affected areas are the lower leg, foot, and upper leg. “Less common sites of running are the ankle, the hip/pelvis/groin and lower back,” as per the report, also mentioning that “poorly perfused tissues, such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage, are particularly at risk because they adapt more slowly than muscles to increased mechanical load.”  

Thus, fitness experts say that it is quite a mandate to prepare the body before starting the run to condition the body and add strength in order to handle the strain coming on different body parts predominantly to avoid injuries. This mantra goes for all levels of fitness enthusiasts be it, beginners, intermediaries or even running runners as the injury can happen to the fittest of all as well. Thus it is a prerequisite to prepare, not only the mind but also the body for running. 

The right technique not only avoids the chances of injury but also prepares the body to support you in achieving the aim targeted by you. Therefore, some exercises can be added to the running regime to have a smooth run by evading the chances of any injuries, early tiredness and going breathless. Let’s look at those few techniques-

Train your Glutes:

Glutes or commonly known as hips are an important body part that helps men in functioning their day-to-day life including standing and sitting. Glutes are directly connected to the legs thus they are one of the first body parts that get directly impacted with rigorous running. Hence it is quite essential to train glutes before the beginning of running. 

The easiest way to train them is to stand on a step with one leg dangling and allow one side of the pelvis to drop off and pick it right back up using the opposite gluteus medius muscle.

High Knee Jumps:

Another important body part is the knees that are quite delicate in the body as once injured, knees take a longer time to heal and can hamper the way of living life by affecting even normal walking. At the time of running, knees are directly impacted as they hit the floor which is why it is always recommended to walk on toes to maintain balance and less pressure on knees. 

High knee jumps are quite common and a basic set of exercises to be followed by the runners to prepare the knees for upcoming pressure. It can be simply done by bringing one knee up with the toes pointing forward and not down followed by another knee. In this one knee stays in the air at a time whereas another foot remains on the ground. 

Calf training:

Next body part that should be trained before running is the calf as it is often said that it is important to have stronger calves to lead a healthy life as well as smooth running. 

Both calves can be trained together or one by one, depending upon a personal choice as both techniques have the same impact. For one calf at a time, raise one leg on air by bending it backward and slowly move another leg i.e. on the ground up and down, or for both calves together, stand on a step with toes on them and move up and down. This exercise straight away trains calves to avoid any cramps and muscle tears at the time of running. 

Resistance Band running:

This technique is basically for intermediary level trainers who have enough strength to stretch themselves against gravity. This exercise is good for knee health, resistance and strength. This training technique requires a resistance band that is commonly available in the market. 

To do this, wear a resistance band either on your waist or thighs and tuck the other side of the band into a solid thing such as a machine if you are in the gym or to the free or bench if you are running in the garden. Take yourself away from the machine or tree or bench where the resistance band is tied and slowly start doing the back lunges. 

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