Expert Tips for Running Pain-Free
Your knee plays an important role in running. Pain is not only unpleasant, but it almost always forces you to take a break. But you don’t have to let things get that far. Most of the time, runner’s knee can be avoided. Running expert and coach Sascha Wingenfeld tells you how and shows you a couple of good example exercises in the videos.
Stop “sitting in the bucket”
We often spend most of our day sitting, either at home or at work. Because of this, the body adapts to sitting and maintains this pelvic position even when you are no longer sitting – for example, when you go running. “You can improve this poor posture by stretching your quadriceps and hip flexors and strengthening your glutes,” recommends Sascha. “This balances out your anterior and posterior muscle chains, which stabilizes your pelvis in an upright position.”
These exercises help you to stretch and train your muscles:
Improve your foot, knee and hip stability
Your feet are the base of running. Therefore, they need to be in top shape. Any mistakes made during the phase when your foot makes contact with the ground and then pushes off again have to be corrected by your body later on. One way to fix these mistakes is by running barefoot on a soft surface for a while. This strengthens the muscles in your feet and raises the cushioning arches of your feet. There are special coordination and strengthening exercises you can do for your feet and ankles.
Strengthen your core
If your core is weak, your body cannot efficiently use the force generated to propel you forward. When your abs, glutes and back muscles are fatigued, your pelvis tilts forward into the “bucket” position when you run. This further causes it to swing from side to side. This compensatory movement increases the tension on the iliotibial band (IT band), which is the cause of many knee problems in runners and what makes them worse. Reducing the number of exercises per week can relieve the pain and prevent further problems. The goal is to balance the stresses of running. In doing so, you will also significantly improve your overall running performance.
Want to learn how to keep your feet happy and healthy? Find out more about how to strengthen your feet.