What exercises can I do while running with injury?

What exercises can I do while running with injury?

October 12, 2023

What exercises can I do while running with injury?

Back on Track Physical Therapy

Exercises to Do While Running With Injury

When you’re recovering from a running injury, it can be challenging to stay fit. However, there are still plenty of low-impact exercises you can do while in recovery to keep your body moving. Cross-training is essential for staying healthy and preventing injuries from happening. Here are a few options:


Squats are one of the most popular and effective lower body strength exercises. Additionally, they help prevent running injuries, making them an essential component of any fitness program. Squatting can improve knee stability, leg power and body awareness. Furthermore, they build strength around the knees which may reduce the risk of common running injuries such as knee ligament tears. Squatting requires core stability to maintain proper form, which may prove challenging for some runners with weak quads and hamstrings. For more information on how to improve your strength and prevent injuries, visit Back on Track Physical Therapy.


Lunges are essential exercises for runners, as they strengthen your leg muscles and protect you from injury. Plus, when done correctly, lunges can improve balance and range of motion. They can also reduce the likelihood of knee pain from overuse injuries. However, as with all body-weight exercises, always consult with your doctor before beginning new exercises or adding weights to your training program. Before performing lunges, be sure to warm up your quads and hip flexors by stretching them. Otherwise, you may experience a pulling sensation in your kneecaps during the exercise.


Step-ups are an excellent lower body exercise that can build strength and stability. Furthermore, they burn calories to help you shed pounds. Running drills target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and hips as well as improving balance and strengthening core muscles – essential for runners. However, step-ups can pose an injury risk if done incorrectly or at a height that is too high for your legs. To avoid injuries, make sure your foot is planted firmly on the step. You can begin with a low step height and gradually increase it as your strength builds. If you’re experiencing foot and ankle pain, consult with a specialist before attempting this exercise.


Planks are an effective core exercise that can be included in many rehabilitation programs for runners with injury. Not only do they improve posture, but planks also have been known to reduce lower back pain in athletes with weak trunk muscles. Planking is an accessible exercise that doesn’t need any special equipment and is safe. Studies have even shown it to reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries among marathon runners – something you can do from home or at a gym. When performing a standard plank, hold your body in an upright position from knees to head with forearms on the floor and core engaged. Hold this pose for 10 – 90 seconds for 5 sets.


Push-ups are an empowering exercise suitable for all fitness levels. Not only do they build your arms, shoulders and upper back but they can also help enhance running performance by strengthening these areas. Running can also increase blood flow, burn calories and break down excess metabolites – all of which are beneficial for those suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure. The classic push-up is an effective exercise for strengthening chest, triceps and shoulders; however, there are various variations available. Select one that best suits your fitness level and objectives before beginning this movement. For more information on exercises and treatments, visit Back on Track Sports Rehabilitation.

If you need professional guidance or have any questions related to your recovery process, don’t hesitate to contact us at Back on Track Physical Therapy.

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