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An Important Element To Running

Categories: Exercise, Injury

Whenever we need to move, our body needs to balance. This can be made harder if your ankles are unstable.

It maybe due an injury which has weakened ligaments and tendons in the joint, like a sprain or strain from going over on a curb or twisted on a rock if trail running.

Or an overuse injury, which is causing the muscles in the lower leg to work harder.

It could even be a biomechanical issue which stems from how your body as a whole moves.

Balance in sport is defined as the ability to stay upright or in control of your body movement. This can even be static (staying still) or dynamic (moving/running).

A simple test to assess your balance is to stand on one leg, yes it really is that simple.

If you want to make it harder you could try standing on one leg with your eyes closed or on an uneven surface like a wobble board or even a cushion, to challenge yourself more.

You can practise this regularly each day at home, even when you’re running mix up the surfaces you train on. This will give you the opportunity to stabilise your ankles in a realistic environment but also provide a nice variety to you training runs.

Your balance improves because your proprioception improves. Proprioception is the ability to be aware of the position and movement of the body. The more you can practise an exercise the more the nerve signals from the brain and muscles get quicker as it recognises the movement.

This is one thing I’m working a lot on with my clients at the moment in the studio, progressing on from the static single leg balance to more complex exercises, as the winter months set in and weather is less predictable the chances of slips become higher. I want to do everything in my power to make strong healthy runners.