Tips to Run and Walk Injury Free

Most running injuries occur as a result of the interplay between three causative factors:

1. Training habits
2.Biomechanical flaws
3.Genetic/anatomical factors
The first two are controllable and modifiable, the third is not.

Tips for optimising your training habits include:

Ensure you have a planned training programme that includes gradual increases in training volume and intensity

Consistency of training is an important feature of injury reduction for running

Listen to your body and do not try to ‘push through’ recurring niggles and pains that last longer than a week.

Include regular corrective exercise as part of your training regime

To assess muscle imbalances that potentially cause biomechanical flaws use the next three basic self testing procedures.

Single leg squat in front of a mirror.

1.Stand with bare feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips then take all of your weight on your right leg.
2.Perform three squats noting position of your right knee and pelvis as you squat down.
3.If you see your right knee move inwards away from the line between your hip and second toe (internally rotate) you are likely to need to pay attention to strengthening your hip stabilising muscles.
4.If you see your pelvis lift or drop to one side, or rotate your need is to work on abdominal activation and control.


Soleus test

1.Place hand, palm down on the floor next to a wall as in photo.
2.Note the distance from the wall then place bare foot with your second toe just touching the mark.
3.Keeping your heel on the floor, foot straight and pelvis still, slowly bend the knee over the line of the second toe to try and touch the wall.
4.An inability to touch the wall from this position indicates tightness

Abdominal stabilisation test

1.Lying on back with legs straight out and hands placed on the widest, uppermost points of the two bones of the pelvis.
2.Draw the tummy button in and tilt the pelvis so the lower back moves closer to the floor.
3.Taking notice of any changes in hand position, or pressure on the floor from the lower back, slowly lift the straight right leg as far as you can until you note movement in the pelvis.
4.Movement in the pelvis, or lessening of pressure of the floor on the lower back before the leg reaches 45 degrees indicates a reduction in the abdominals ability to stabilise the pelvis

Richard Trendle MSc, Exercise Physiolgist

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