Years of performance physical therapy have revealed that running injuries are often caused by repetitive stress injuries when running. The better you can control the adverse effects of repetitive stress, the fewer injuries you’ll get as a result.
One simple way to control repetitive stress is by implementing single-leg strength training exercises into your training. The benefits of these exercises are numerous. Not only will single-leg exercises increase a runner’s ability to shock absorb in a single leg position, but they’ll also decrease ground contact times, resulting in faster pacing. Lastly, because of your improved capacity to handle stress, your risk of injury is diminished.
Here are some great single-leg exercises to start incorporating into your strength training routine:
- Single-Leg Snapback
Single-leg snapbacks help runners improve footstrike mechanics and better understand the impact of different body positions.
- Single-Leg RDL’s
The single-leg RDL is a perfect exercise to train the glutes and hamstrings effectively. This exercise also helps eliminate strength imbalances between the left and right sides of the body, increasing lower-body stability and protecting the knee from injury.
- Single-Leg Bounding Drills
Bounding drills are great for improving force absorption qualities when running or jogging. These drills will help enforce proper trunk, hip, leg positioning, and control needed to land stably on every stride. There are a couple of great bounding drills, but our favorites are Single Leg Forward Bound + Stick, Single-Leg Forward Triple Bound + Stick, and the SL Lateral Bound + Stick.