Lower Body Exercises/Stretches for Runners (And Anyone Else!)

If you’re a runner, you’ve probably experienced one or more of the following: Knee pain, back pain, runner’s stomach, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, the list goes on. I have been fortunate enough to experience all of the above. When I first started getting serious about my running, I was a total novice, and just figured that the only way to get better at running was to run! Little did I know, there are SO many different muscles and parts of the body involved in running, and the only real way to get good at it is to strengthen ALL of those parts, PLUS practice running! For me personally, I found that when I started investing some time in strength training and stretching, my knee pain started to diminish dramatically, and my plantar fasciitis that I was lucky enough to experience virtually vanish. So, when my college roommate let me know she was having some knee pain, I jumped right in with my own tidbits of advice, and decided to put together a list of some of my favorite lower body exercises/stretches!

lower body workoutsNote: for the calf raise: Stand facing a wall. Stretch arms out and place hands on wall. Place one leg behind you, and bend the knee in front. Make sure that your back foot is completely flat on the ground, and that your back leg is straight. Lean toward the wall. You should feel this in your calf. This is my all time FAVORITE stretch!

For the standing hip flexor, place both feet in a resistance band, placing resistance band around ankles. Lift one leg out straight to the side, keeping other leg stable. For the Standing hip abductor, do the same thing, but instead of lifting your leg to the side, lift it in front of you.

You can find more amazing runner’s stretches here and here!