Running season in Arizona is upon on us with training for the P.F. Chang’s marathon. With the increased training and mileage comes potential for foot pain/injuries. During the running gait each foot must be able to stabilize and provide dynamic stability individually. Therefore, it is important to perform supplementary single leg stance loading in all three planes of motion. The three planes of motion are the sagittal plane (forward and backward movement), frontal plane (side to side movement), and transverse plane (rotational movement).

We have come up with four different exercises to perform 2-3 x per week to supplement your running that will encompass all three planes of motion:

  1. Nose to Wall: Stand on one leg with other leg in the air out front. Shift your body weight forward to the point where you almost feel your heel come off the ground on your stance leg and then shift your body weight back. Try to avoid the woodpecker type motion. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps alternating legs.
  2. Lateral bandwalk: Put a band around both ankles and start with your knees and hips slightly bent. Keep your feet pointed straight forward the entire time take 12 steps sideways. Stay facing the same direction and take 12 steps back, repeat the movement 2 more times down and back.
  3. Posterior medial step down: Stand on one leg with most of your weight on the heel, but still keeping big toe in contact with step. Sit back like performing a single leg squat focusing on more of a hip bend as opposed to a knee bend. Pay attention to your knee on the side you are loading to ensure that it is stable, not diving in too much and touch the floor with your opposite heel. Return to a fully extended position with the knee and hip completely straight focusing on squeezing your glutes and quads at the top.
  4. Doorway touches: Stand and balance on one leg with a soft slightly bent knee and touch the Left doorjam with Right hand and Right doorjam with Left hand. Perform this alternately for 10 on each side for 20 total touches. Repeat this for 3 sets.

This group of exercises can be best performed prior to running as a movement prep to engage your foot intrinsics and to get the posterior chain acitvated.

If there are any activities you are having difficulty with come in and see us at TOPS Physical Therapy and Osteopractics.