How to Prevent Knee Injuries for Runners

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Question: I do a lot of running and read that weight training is beneficial in helping to prevent knee injuries. What would be the best exercises for me to do?

Answer: To assist in the prevention of knee injuries you need to follow a program that is Hamstring Dominant. By making hamstring exercises the focus of your training, placing them in the beginning of your workout and doing several different hamstring and hamstring/glute exercises you can build balance between the more naturally dominant quadriceps/ glutes and your hamstrings. Hamstring are utilized during the deceleration phase of running.

Randy Hadley, who trains multiple professional athletes including 110m Hurdles World Champion David Oliver, has developed a very effective hamstring dominant training system. One of the exercises he uses is Single Leg Hip Bridges:

While lying on the floor, bend one leg and the place foot flat on the floor. Elevate the other leg so it is off the floor. Drive your hips up and return so your glutes touch the floor. Repeat for 15 reps and switch legs. Do three sets of these.

A standard exercise you should do next is the Lying Leg Curl. Choose a moderate weight and do a set of ten reps.

Alternate three sets of those with Walking Lunges. The key to the walking lunges is to keep your weight centered over your hips, not your forward knee. Also, don’t allow the back knee to tap the floor. Do ten reps on each leg for three sets.

While that is far from the complete system, those three exercises can assist you in training to prevent injuries.

God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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