AS THE Great Birmingham Run approaches on May 1, a Solihull physio is highlighting that strengthening exercises are vital for long distance runners to avoid injury.
Urban Body’s Phil Evans has a few suggestions for building up for the Midlands’ biggest running event:
Stand upright with your hands on your hips and legs at shoulder-width apart.
Take a large step backward on one leg onto the ball of your foot.
Simultaneously, lower your body down between both feet until your knees are both at 90 degrees.
Hold and then rise back up using both legs, stepping your rear leg back to the front.
Repeat for the other leg.
Single leg squats onto a chair
Aim to touch down lightly onto the chair and stand back up again.
Stand on your affected leg.
Once you have your balance, squat down on your affected leg.
Keep your back straight as you lean forwards, pushing your hips back behind you.
Ensure your knee travels directly forwards over your toes.
Place a theraband around your ankles and gather some tension.
Keep your toes and knees pointing forwards.
Side-step slowly, keeping constant tension on the band and controlling your trailing leg.
Make sure you don’t bring your feet too close together.
Stand up straight with a step in front of you.
Move forward onto the step with one leg.
Bring your other leg through and lift your knee up in front of you until your thigh is horizontal.
Hold this position.
Step back to the floor and repeat the movement.
For the above exercises, Phil recommends three sets of 15 repetitions, two to three times per week.
Running on light trails or grass in the couple of weeks before the race can help keep the legs feeling fresher, as softer ground lessens the impact muscles absorb.
Urban Body’s physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinic is based at the West Warwickshire Sports Club in Olton.
For more information please visit www.urbanbody.co.uk