Runners that love to run know that injuries are almost a given. We have knee issues, ankle issues, hip issues, etc. While running is good exercise, without balance you can end up sidelined. But… with our already packed schedules it’s sometimes hard enough to find time to run, let alone an additional workout routine. That’s where the OCRAddict 20 minute workout comes in; studies have shown that spending just 20 minutes a day, a few days a week can help you stay on your feet instead of nursing injuries. With that said, there are some basic exercises that you should add to your routine to help minimize injuries and increase strength.
The OCRAddict 20 minute workout will primarily focus on hip strength. It’s best to do it right after a run or after a vigorous warm-up, while the muscles are warm. As you are navigating your way through the exercises, adjust them accordingly to accommodate your ability levels; decrease the reps or time intervals if it feels too tough or increase weight and/or reps if it feels too easy.
OCRAddict 20 Minute Workout
|Forward Lunge||2 Reps per leg, progressing to 5 or more|
|Lunge with Twist||2 Reps per leg, progressing to 5 or more|
|Lateral Lunge||2 Reps per leg, progressing to 5 or more|
|Diagonal Lunge||2 Reps per leg, progressing to 5 or more|
|Reverse Lunge||2 Reps per leg, progressing to 5 or more|
|Step-Up||10 Reps per leg|
|Pistol Squat||5-10 Reps per leg|
|Single-leg Deadlift||10-20 reps per leg|
|Marching Bridge||30-60 seconds|
The forward lunge strengthens your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It also helps to increase the range of motion of the hip flexor.
How to: Take a step forward with your right leg so your knee is positioned over your ankle. Lower your body until your left knee brushes the ground. Step back and repeat on the other side.
The twisting lunge helps engage the core as it requires balance and a sense of positional awareness.
How to: Perform a forward lunge, but rotate your torso to the same side that you lunge forward with. (If you lunge forward on your right leg, twist your torso to the right as well.) Step back and repeat on the other side.
The Lateral Lunge, also known as a side lunge, activates the abductors and hip-stabilizing muscles.
How to: Step out to your right side, keeping both feet pointing ahead of you. Lower your body until your right thigh is about parallel to the ground, keeping your left leg is straight. Step back to center and repeat on the other side.
Stepping out at a diagonal forces your body to move in two different planes of motion (frontal and sagittal).
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Just like you would with a traditional lunge, take a large step forward with your right leg, but instead of moving in a straight line, step out on a diagonal. Bend both knees until your right knee forms about a 90-degree angle. Step back and repeat on the other side.
This is probably the most challenging type of lunge since it requires more balance, recruits the glutes, and involves more of a hip extension.
How to: Take a step back with your right leg and lower your body until your right thigh is about parallel to the ground and your left knee brushes the ground. Keep your toes pointing straight ahead. Step back and repeat on the other side.
Step-ups fire up your quads as they work to straighten your leg, and they also strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.
How to: Stand in front of a step or bench one to two feet high. Step up with your right foot until your leg is straight. Maintain a tall posture and step down with the left foot. Repeat on the other side.
Also known as a one legged or single leg squat
How to: Stand on your right leg with your arms straight out in front of you, then slowly squat down so your right thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Keep the motion slow and controlled, then return to standing. Repeat on the other side.
Deadlifts focus on glute and hamstring strength, two often neglected muscles that are critical for stabilization and power while running.
How to: Stand up straight, then bend forward from the hip (not the spine) while standing on your left leg and extending your right leg behind you for balance. Return to standing by activating the glutes.
The push-up contributes to core strength, which helps build a better foundation for running.
How to: From plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, lower your body until your chest reaches the ground. Push back up. To modify, rest your weight on your knees instead of your toes.
This exercise focuses almost exclusively on hip stability, which is critical for keeping the entire leg stable during each stride, and glute strength, which provides strength and power during the stride and helps maintain good posture.
How to: Lie faceup with your feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips by driving your heels into the ground and contracting your glutes so you form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Straighten one leg, hold for 2 to 3 seconds, and repeat on the other side. Make sure your hips stay level and your rear doesn’t sag toward the ground.
The abdominal and oblique muscles worked in this move help maintain a neutral pelvis while running, which is beneficial for injury prevention.
How to: Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to the body about shoulder-width apart. Hold. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.