With the Joggin' for Frogmen 5k just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about Runner's Knee. When I first started running long distances (anything longer than 2 miles) my knee cap would kill me for a week after. Come to find out, that pain in commonly known as runner's knee and it actually happens to a lot of people. The main cause of Runner's knee is having weak thigh muscles. I always assumed that running would make my thigh muscles strong automatically… WRONG! If you don't want to experience knee pain after running, here are some easy exercises you can do to keep your thighs strong!
WEIGHTED FOOT LIFT
While seated at a chair, place a dumbbell in between your feet so that a large side of weight is resting on the tops of your feet. Place your arms at your side, and hold on to the chair and lift your feet until they are parallel with the seat of the chair. Bend your leg at the knee and bring your feet back down to the ground. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
PLANK LEG LIFT
Get into the position of a plank. Rest your elbows and forearms on your matt. Lift one of your legs up toward the ceiling, and hold for three seconds. Bring your toe back down to the matt. Do this 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
BALLS TO THE WALL
Place your stability ball against a wall and rest your back on it. Get into a chair position with the ball still between your back and the wall. Keep that position for 30 seconds. Take a 10 second break between sets, and repeat 3 times.
This exercise will involve a machine. Every gym usually has one. Find a machine you can adjust the weight to a comfortable setting, and place your ankles on a foam bar. While holding on to your chair, push your ankles down to the ground bending your legs at your knee. This will work out your upper thigh. Do 3 sets of 10.
Other ways to avoid runner's knee:
- Always make sure you wear comfortable running shoes with enough support. Not everyone's foot is created equal, so head to a RoadRunner Sports near you. They actually do a one on one evaluation with you to see what shoe will fit you the best, and give you the support you need.
- Don't change the intensity of your work out routine drastically. Make gradual changes so that it's not too much for your body to handle.
- Avoid running on hard surfaces, like concrete.
Have fun and be safe! We hope to see you at the JFF 5K this Saturday! It's not too late to register!