How do you keep running fitness when injured?
We all know how frustrating it is to be injured and not to be able to continue with your workout routine. Most important, at the beginning of rehabilitation from most injuries (like foot & ankle, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, runner’s knee, ITB injury) is to allow your body to heal.
But there are some exercises which you can do without knee flexion and without too much impact on your lower body, yet they will still activate major group muscles like hip flexors, glute maximus & medius. These muscles are crucial for correct running biomechanics, so strengthening them will help speed up your recovery and help you avoid potential injuries in the future.
So, how to strengthen them without any impact on your current injury? The answer is in the video :-)
What cross-training exercise is a good substitute for running?
If you're used to your training routine and putting running aside really makes you feel blue, don’t worry, you still might be able to do other activities! Usually it’s the impact that makes things worse, so sometimes just avoiding high-impact movements like running or jumping is enough.
Generally speaking, swimming is very popular and recommended for injured runners. Impact free, yet still engaging all body muscles.
For more ‘running specific’ movements you could try running but in the…pool! Pool running is a technique which has been used not only by injured runners, but even as a part of a training of a healthy athlete.
From my personal experience, injuries I’ve had gave me inspiration to try other activities. Surprisingly, in the end they made me a better runner, by helping me improve my vo2max, strength and mobility. That’s how I discovered and fell in love with cycling and climbing.
The possibilities are endless – yoga, Pilates, Nordic skiing, core exercises, climbing, swimming, cycling, power walking, etc…
If you’re looking for cross-training inspiration, check out Strength & Cross Training for a fantastic selection of strengthening & mobility advice, including videos.
How to know what's helpful or harmful when injured?
Your body is the best advisor, and it’s communicating with you all the time. You are not supposed to feel any sharp pain during any activities or feel any pain afterwards. If you feel that a certain activity still puts stress on your injury, definitely stop doing it.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel any pain during or the day after, it’s a green light for that particular exercise!
Remember that everyone’s body is different – the healing time and process is very individualised. I know that this process might be highly frustrating, but look at it as an opportunity for you to discover other things in your life.
If you need some inspiration for your journey through your injury, check out What to do when injured from running, to stay positive.
These are exercises that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not certified instructors. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.