Running Injuries: Understanding Why They Happen And How To Fight Back

Posted on: 21 August 2015

Leading a busy life while trying to fit enough running miles into your day can be exceedingly difficult. A lot of the time, it's too hard to add in some strength training as well, but it is important to make sure that you do this if you are a runner. Runners are some of the most frequently injured, with some statistics saying that an annual injury rate is as much as 66 percent, according to a 2009 poll. Read on to learn why this is and how you can do something about it.

Why Do Runners Suffer So Many Injuries?

Among the numerous reasons runners tend to suffer more injuries than other fitness enthusiasts is because some of them also lead a sedentary life, according to World Running. Therefore, it makes it hard for their bodies to handle the stress as you pound against the pavement with your feet.

What Can Be Done to Improve Your Fight Against Injuries?

Luckily, there is something that can be done to help prevent a high rate of injuries: strength training. Studies show that even a small amount of strength training can improve your overall structural fitness, which thereby enhances the ability of your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones so that you can stay healthy and have more support while running.

A Few Hip-Focused Moves to Avoid Many Running Injuries

According to research, the weakness that is present in your hip muscles is what can cause an increase in the risk of running injury. Therefore, you need to consider focusing on strength training for your hips. Here are three moves to start doing roughly 20 minutes a couple of times a week (or as frequently as you can):

  1. Forward Lunge – This is a classic strength-training lunge, and it focuses on your glutes, hamstrings and quads while increasing your hip flexor range of motion. Take a step with your right left forward. Your knee should be positioned directly over your right ankle. Lower your body so that your left knee just slightly touches the ground. Step back to a standing position and repeat with the left leg. This is one rep. Aim for five reps starting out and increase as you go.
  2. Pistol Squat – This is a single-leg exercise, which can help improve your strength and flexibility. Begin by standing on your right leg. Outstretch your arms directly in front of you. Begin to slowly squat down. Your right thigh will become parallel to the floor. This motion should be both controlled and slow. Return to your standing position and repeat with the left leg. This is one rep. Aim for two reps starting out and increase as you go. Due to the difficulty of this exercise, Breaking Muscle has some variations if you're just learning and struggling with it.
  3. Marching Bridge – This exercise focuses primarily on your hips and glutes. Begin by lying face-up on the floor with your feet flat. Lift your toes up, driving your heels in the floor. Contract your glutes while doing this motion. You should form a straight line between your knees and shoulders. Bring your right leg up toward your chest bent and hold it there for two seconds and take it back to position. Repeat with the left leg. Keep your hips level as you do this. This is one rep. Aim for five reps starting out and increase as you go.

While these movements can help improve hip stability, strength and flexibility, you may still suffer an injury. If this occurs, speak to a physical therapist about treatment options to avoid further aggravating your injury and possibly prevent future injuries. Visit for more information about physical therapy.