Strength and Prehab: Core #2

This is the fourth post in a series providing strengthening prehab exercises. I am not a certified running coach or a physical therapist — just someone recommending exercises that have helped me become a stronger runner and ward off possible injury. Who else gets bored of the same old strengthening routines? If you’re interested in more ideas, check out the myrtl routine, shin strengthening and another plank variation!

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This week’s core exercise is a plank challenge from Fitness Magazine! It popped up on my Instagram feed a week ago, and I thought; why not give it a try? You can see Kira Stokes, creator of the Stoked Method, demonstrate the plank variation on Instagram too. Before I started getting serious about running, I would throw the occasional plank into my workout, but I avoided side planks like the plague. I would hold one for a second or two, eventually fall out, and give up before trying again.

As with most things, I didn’t get better until I insisted on doing them more frequently (or you know, more than a few seconds) and since then, I like to do a side plank on each side following my regular planks. This exercise, however, is a nice variation that gives you a little more to do while you wait for the seconds to count down to the finish.

NOW DO IT ALL REALLY FAST!
NOW DO IT ALL REALLY FAST!

Step 1: Start in the side plank.

Step 2: Dip your hip to the floor twice.

Step 3: Lift your leg twice.

Step 4: Do two side crunches.

Step 5: Do three sets. Repeat on each side.

Easy as that! Okay not really easy. Lifting up your leg in a side plank is no joke!

Have you ever been plank-adverse? Do you like variations or keeping it simple?

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Strength and Prehab: Shins

This is the second post in a series providing strengthening prehab exercises. I am not a certified running coach or a physical therapist — just someone recommending exercises that have helped me become a stronger runner and ward off possible injury. Who else gets bored of the same old strengthening routines? If you’re interested in more ideas, check out the myrtl routine or last week’s core exercise.

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I’ve complained about my injury-prone shins quite a bit on the blog, and so I thought I’d delve into shin strengthening for today’s prehab post! Over the past year, I have done my fair share of research on the topic, but I am always learning more about how to ease current pain and protect my shins from future injury.

Shin pain, which does not necessarily mean shin splints, can be caused by a various number of issues, including increasing your mileage too quickly, compensating for weakness in other parts of the body, or even hitting hard surfaces, like pavement, time and time again. As Runner’s World sums it up, “Too much, too soon.”

Again, there are so many ideas about the causes, potential treatments and advice offered for shin pain, but ultimately, you need to listen to your body and rely on professional medical help for personal answers. In my experience, shin pain tells me that my body needs to stop running and rest until the pain is gone.

However, since this is all about prehab…what are a few things you can do to keep your shins healthy? I’m going back to Runnner’s World for 4 exercises they suggest to prevent this injury-prone spot. I don’t own the right kind of resistance band for monster walks, so I’m focusing on toe curls, heel drop and one-legged bridges.


Heel Drop: Stand on your toes on the edge of a step. Shift your weight to your right leg, take your left foot off the step, and lower your right heel down. Return to start, and then repeat with your left leg. (Source)

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One-Legged Bridges: Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off the floor. Extend your left leg out and hold for 30 seconds (work up to 60-second holds), then lower it. Repeat with your other leg. (Source)

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Toe Curls: Stand with feet hip-width apart at the edge of a towel. With the toes of your left foot, gather the towel and slowly pull it toward you. Return to start and repeat with the other foot. (Source) SORRY YOU HAVE TO SEE MY FEET!

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Have you ever had any shin pain? What are your favorite strengthening exercises?