Easy to do and requiring just a little space in your living room, Coach Kirk shares his favorite injury prevention techniques for runners!
The Couch Stretch
If I had to choose one maintenance exercise to do the rest of my life, it would be this.
Well, maybe shavasana.
But seriously, if you want to take yourself seriously as a runner, this needs to be in your daily arsenal. If you have a wall at home, you’re ready to go.
This targets both the quads and the hip flexors.
- With hands on floor, nestle knee into the corner of a wall (or as close as possible).
- It is nice to use a pad of sorts for the knee.
- Drive hip forward towards floor by squeezing butt.
Step 2 : Bring foot up.
- Place foot next to the hand on ground.
- Again, drive hip forward toward the ground by squeezing butt.
Step 3 : Drive tall.
- If possible, lift hands off ground and push torso back towards wall.
- This should not be done by arching the back. Keep butt squeezed the whole time!
The Distal Quad Massage
The four muscles of the quad have a common tendon called the patellar tendon, which connects all those muscles to the knee.
And as you can imagine, with 4 big powerful muscles feeding into one spot, we can see some serious tightness occur.
But on a positive note, we have an opportunity to make some really effective change just by focusing our effort on aone spot!
Step 1 :
- Place lacrosse ball (or ball of similar size/density) directly above knee cap.
- The ball can be in the outside portion, the inside portion, or anywhere in between.
Step 2 :
- Once ball is situated, flex and extend knee by pulling heel towards butt to massage the tissues against the ball.
The Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) is a small, but powerful muscle that sits in your front pocket and is continuous with the IT band. If you want knee issues, weak glutes, or low back tightness, be sure to never take care of this thing.
A Softball is preferred, but a lacrosse ball or baseball will do just fine. Position the ball right on the TFL (again, located in your front pocket area) and target tender spots. Move side to side, breathing and doing your best to relax into the ball.
Step 1 :
- Place Softball (or ball of similar size/density) directly where front pocket would be.
Step 2 :
- Massage the TFL by rolling across the muscle (left to right).
- You can also massage the muscle by pinning down one area and pulling knee to and from chest.
Consider these exercises your go-to “toolbox” for daily injury prevention. A few minutes each day will add up to make a world of difference for you AND your running. *Don’t wait for signs of pain to get started!