Mobility exercises help in relaxing and increasing flexibility after a long run. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

5 Mobility Exercises Runners Need to Do Once a Week

Mobility exercises are not known for most runners, which is a huge mistake, as they have many benefits, like improving running posture, increasing joint range of motion and general conditioning.

With some work and persistence, anyone can improve mobility simply by performing a few exercises every week. The following mobility exercises for runners should be practiced at least once per week, preferably on the same day.

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If you're a runner, the best way to ensure the longevity of your running career is to include some mobility exercises in your routine.


Best Mobility Exercises To Try

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Five exercises runners need to do at least once a week are as follows:

1) Leg Swing

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While most runners include leg swings in their warm-up routine, they're not performed correctly. Not only can that lead to mobility problems but can also cause injury. However, when done properly, leg swings are wonderful and really shake up the hard-working leg muscles.

How to do it?

  • Before you start, find a sturdy surface at hip level.
  • Brace your core, and lift one knee in front. Make sure your standing leg is strong.
  • Keep it slightly bent so that you can control your hips better.
  • Open the lifted leg to the side, and swing it left and right, repeating for 10-15 reps on each side.
  • Try not to rotate your standing leg as you do the exercise.
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2) Supine Hip Rotation

The hips are essential to your lower body. They need to be worked on constantly, and the best way to do that is through mobility exercises. This workout can help isolate your hips and stretch them at the same time, so you won’t have to compensate for rotation with your upper body.

How to do it?

  • Start lying on your back, and bring your knees toward your body.
  • Bend one knee, resting it on the other thigh and opening up the hip.
  • You can stay here, and breathe through the stretch, or you can use your hands to lengthen the hamstrings of both legs, and open up your hips more deeply.
  • After 8-10 long breath cycles, repeat on the other side.

3) Downward Dog

Downward-dog walkouts, a yoga exercise, are great for stretching and strengthening the ankles, calves and spine, and increasing blood flow to the brain.

How to do it?

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  • Start in a plank position, with your forearms on the floor and body straight from head to heels.
  • Lift your hips up diagonally, tilting the torso towards the sky.
  • Feel your hamstrings stretch as you rise; extend your spine as if you were about to do a backbend.
  • Bend your knees if you need to, and keep moving back and forth between bending and stretching.

4) Goblet Squat

It's a great exercise for building strength and mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles. It can also be used to improve external rotation of the hips.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes turned out.
  • Bend at the knees and hips as you sit back till your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Use your elbows to push your knees outward, extending them as you push yourself up to an initial standing position.

5) Ankle Stretch

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When you run, it's important to keep the ankles loose. Tight ankles can lead to shin splints, so before you head out for a jog, try rotating your ankles in circles or gently bouncing on the balls of your feet.

How to do it?

  • From a standing position, put your hands on your hips.
  • Step forward with your left foot, and drive your left knee forward as you shift your body forward as far as possible. Hold for a couple of seconds.
  • Return to your starting position, and repeat on the other side.

Takeaway

Take the time to work on mobility at least once per week, and you may find that it becomes easier as you develop a routine for it.

The more you practice, the better you will become in efficiently moving and utilizing your range of motion. The benefits are endless, including helping improve your running performance.

The best way to take advantage of mobility training is by adding it as an important component to your weekly and monthly routine. Try to make it part of your total day-off routine – and even do it on the go, when you have some time, like while waiting for a flight.

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Edited by
Bhargav
 
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