Most runners and joggers does not get their high just from running, they also become part of cross training, strength training and interval training to be on their best of shape. Studies have shown that these are important elements of becoming a good runner. Many runners however ignore one crucial component of training which is improving balance. Research shows that improving ones balance helps reduce ankle sprains, and also reduce risk of ankle injuries as well. After all, the last thing a runner wants to hear is the pop or crackle of their ankle leaving them injured and unable to get running.
Source of the Sprain
Unlike repetitive injuries like shin splints or runner’s knees, traditional ankle sprains are trauma related due to several reasons like unfamiliar territory or uneven terrain. Running over uneven terrain can cause tearing one or more ligaments that connect to the ankle, ending up in swelling, bruising at the site of the injury. It is very common and a large number of the running population suffers from sprains. Another reason might be due to bounding from one leg to another with relatively short contact times which puts considerably higher pressures on the runner’s muscles and ankles exposing it to higher chances of injuries.
The following reasons will help motivate you to focus a lot on balance and help you avoid injuries in future.
Herculean Ankle Strength
Balancing exercises can strengthen the ankle and surrounding muscles providing stability while running and people undergoing balancing exercises tend to have very strong ankles and are less prone to ankle related injuries.
Improved Sense of Awareness
People focused on balance training will have an improved sense of awareness on how to balance the way their foot lands and this helps them rule out any possibilities of ankle or foot injuries.
More Balance While Running
When you run, there is a period of time when you are literally off the ground. In this sense, it would be as if you are hopping on alternate legs. Single leg exercises will help you gain that balance you need when you are running making you less prone to injuries.
Little or No Equipment
Balance training can be done literally anywhere and at any time based on your convenience. Most single leg exercises fit easily into daily routine which allows injured runners to multitask without much difficulty.
Some of the simplest single leg exercises are as follows:
Single Leg Balance
Try balancing the injured leg on a flat surface for 10 seconds and keep increasing the hold time as you start feeling more confident about it. To make it more challenging, try closing your eyes while trying to balance.
Once balancing on single leg becomes easy, try tracing the different alphabets on air with the elevated foot. This will put pressure on the leg and will help you stabilize the body. Complete the alphabets with one leg and then switch on to the next.
If you are looking for more interesting ways to for balance exercises, talk to our fitness trainers at Fitness19 today!