herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Fitness: Seven ways to avoid pain and injury

Knee pain is probably the most common injury that physios or massage therapists have to deal with before and after hard running.
Knee pain is probably the most common injury that physios or massage therapists have to deal with before and after hard running.

If your knee gets sore, give it a complete rest for a few days and work the upper body.

Work the legs and hips with a variety of freestyle and floor movements, such as side leg raises, lunges, squats, bench jumps- but only when the pain subsides.

Get a proper gait analysis, which can be recorded on a disc. You then will see if your running straight or if your knees are going inwards as you run.

Seek a good coach, or take a running class with Catriona McKiernan, a champion runner who teaches Chi running. It's well worth it.

If you're hitting the ground hard or even the treadmill, injury is sure to follow. It should be smooth with no thumping pressure as your feet hit the ground. It's called "floating" or gentle impact.

Are your shoulders ridged with no movement, if so your lower back and neck will be taking the impact. Having completed a course with the world's top physios in Austria on back injury, I know that ridged movement of the shoulders while running or walking causes back pain. We should move our shoulders as a baby crawls. It's a free movement, try it.

Get a complete body programme, including flexibility exercises from a good trainer to work all the small muscle groups. It's not only legs and chest and an all over body programme will prevent injury in the future.

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