EdgeRehab_Running Smart

Health & Wellness Newsletter

Live Life Pain Free

NEWSLETTER

Your Guide to RUNNING SMART

OUR PROGRAMS & SERVICES

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Health & Wellness Newsletter

Live Life Pain Free

NEWSLETTER

Your Guide to RUNNING SMART

Mobility/Soft Tissue Work Having the necessary mobility of muscles and joints allows us to function through our body’s full range of motion to move more efficiently, decreasing undue stress to our muscles and joints. Limited mobility affects running technique leading to potential compensations that could also lead to injury. So what’s the best way to improve mobility? Static stretching? Foam roller? Both? There are pro’s and con’s to both, but the bottom line is both techniques will improve flexibility/mobility of muscles and joints. Static stretching feels good and is quick; however, it does not decrease risk of injury or reduce post-workout muscle soreness. Foam rollers can target specific areas of tension within the muscle, increase mobility, and decrease post-running soreness allowing for quicker recovery. The best areas to typically address prior to running include: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves, avoiding rolling over any bony areas. Focus on tender spots or “knots” within the muscle 30-60 seconds per muscle group

before and after running, totaling four to eight minutes pre-and post-running. Don’t have a foam roller? The use of a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, massage stick, or rolling pin can perform the same function. Dynamic Warm-Up As tempting as it is to pop out of bed, tie up your running shoes, and run, a dynamic warm-up is key for injury prevention. Dynamic warm-ups increase your body’s core temperature and increase blood flow to your muscles, better preparing your body for running and exercise. Examples of dynamic warm-ups include: Inch worms, leg swings, Frankenstein’s, butt kickers, high knees, or walking lunges. Follow your foam roller programwith a 5-10-minute light dynamic warm-up to get your heart rate up and your muscles primed for your run! Strength Wait, strength training? Like lifting weights? YES! Resistance training not only builds strength, but it also makes muscles more efficient while running – meaning, muscles are using less energy over the same distance during your

run. Muscles that are more efficient become more resilient to injury, allowing for less stress to ankle, knee, and hip joints, which equals more pain-free running! Stronger muscles also improve power that gives the extra push at the end of a race to help enhance overall performance leading to potential personal records. Focusing on functional movements (such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges) utilizes multiple muscle groups per exercise that better carries over to running performance/ injury prevention than isolated strengthening exercises. Performing one-legged variations of squats and deadlifts will also help improve overall balance and stability. These exercises help to increase gluteal (buttock) and hamstring (back thigh muscles) strength. The gluteals and hamstrings help propel our bodies forward while running, and weakness in these muscle groups often lead to compensations by overusing the hip flexors and quadriceps (front thigh muscles) causing the all-too-common hip and knee pain in runners.

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Your Guide to RUNNING SMART

Core Stability The core is a general term referring to the muscles that help to stabilize our back, pelvis, and hips. While running with the alternating pattern of the arms and legs, a strong core will limit having too much rotation throughout the midsection of the body, allowing runners to maintain an efficient running technique for longer. Being able to run with an appropriate technique over a longer period of time not only decreases the risk for injury, but it also helps to improve performance! Many runners perform sit-ups or back extensions as a form of “core stability” exercise; however, these exercises only isolate specific muscle groups and can actually be more detrimental to low back health. A more integrated approach to core stability is by using multiple muscle groups throughout the abdominals, low back, and hip muscles. These muscles help to maintain posture, as well as transfer energy to the legs, leading to less stress to the hips, knees, and ankles and more pain-free running. Four of the basic core stability exercises include the plank, side plank, bridges, and bird dogs. When performing these exercises, it is important to maintain the back’s natural

curve without overly arching or overly rounding the back. Begin by doing one to two repetitions of these exercises holding for 20-30 seconds every other day and gradually increase to daily with increase in hold times. Being able to continue to breathe while executing these core stability exercises engages the diaphragm (the muscle that fills our lungs with air) and provides further core stability while mimicking breathing patterns while running. Recovery Many running injuries are the result of overuse and lack of rest and recovery days. Repetitively stressing our muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments without appropriate, adequate rest will inevitably result in tissue breakdown and injury. Taking a rest day every seven to 14 days allows for tissue and metabolic regeneration leading to increased energy stores and stronger muscles, bones, and tendons that improve their resiliency to injury. Rest days may include focusing only on soft tissue mobility, taking a light walk, cross-training (cycling, swimming), participating in yoga, or another light activity to avoid overuse. While taking a rest day may feel like time away from training (detraining effects typically don’t occur until after two weeks rest), a day’s rest a week

is always better than being sidelined for six weeks with an injury! Edge Physical Therapy T he primary risk factor for any injury is a history of a prior injury. An Edge Physical Therapy evaluation focuses on movement analysis to identify potential movement patterns, as well as mobility, strength, or stability deficits that could lead to injury. Whether seeking therapy for an active injury or for injury prevention, first time runners and veterans can benefit from movement analysis to receive an individualized plan to help supplement training. Edge Physical Therapy offers manual therapy, exercise prescription, massage, and education to address any mobility, strength, or stability deficits to return runners to pain-free running. Taking the time to focus on soft tissue work, strength, and core stability with adequate rest and recovery will help to keep those hips, knees, ankles, and feet pain-free and increase your performance! Call us to speak with one of our healthcare professional about staying injury free. We can help you in-person at the clinic as well as by telehealth appointment.

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Take Time to Stretch Use These Exercises at Home to Relieve Back Pain

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Prone on Elbows While lying face down on your stomach, slowly raise your upper body up and prop yourself onto your elbows. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat 5 times.

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Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

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