Get in Balance
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
From the August 2012 issue of Runner’s World
Exercises for improved stability – especially off-road
By Bob Cooper
It’s a good time to hit the trails, but rocks, roots and switchbacks challenge your coordination and stability, says Christine Mateer, a coach, physical therapist and trail-race champ. Do these balance-disc exercises twice a week to build strength and help prevent ankle, knee and hip injuries.
Improves your stability and motor control on a trail’s tight turns.
TO DO Rest your right hand and left knee on balance discs; extend your opposite arm and leg. Bring your left elbow toward your right knee. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
|PLANK AND MOUNTAIN CLIMBER|
Strengthens hip and core muscles for a strong push-off on hills and rough terrain.
TO DO From the top of a push-up position, hands centred on discs, lift your right knee toward your left elbow while keeping your spine and left leg straight. Hold for one second, return to push-up position, and lift the left knee toward your right elbow. Do 10 reps.
Improves your stability and coordination to better navigate uneven trails.
TO DO Place your left foot on a balance disc, cross your right leg behind, and lower into a semi-squat (A). Keeping your left foot planted, do a crossover lunge forward with the right leg (B). Then swing right leg back to start (A). (It may help to practice the move a few times without the disc.) Repeat 10 times and switch legs.
Strengthens upper body for a more efficient arm swing on steep trail climbs.
TO DO Holding light weights, kneel and place one foot on a disc, knee bent at 90 degrees. Pump your arms rapidly for one minute. Switch legs and repeat.
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