4 Exercises for Injury Prevention In Runners

As a physical therapist who is also a runner I tend to see a lot of runners in my clinic. I love treating runners actually because running is something that I am passionate about. One of my patients asked me once what 4 exercises for injury prevention in runners I would recommend. Basically he wanted to know if there were only 4 exercises I could pick to keep runners safe and injury free what would they be. 

4 exercises for runners (1)

Injury Causes in Runners

Now I want to touch on the ways that runners get injured and why. Not all things can be solved by these 4 exercises. 

  1. Progressing too quickly
  2. Overtraining
  3. Not allowing for proper recovery
  4. Not listening to your body
  5. Strength and flexibility imbalances
  6. Weakness
  7. Inflexibility
  8. Improper or over worn shoes
  9. Poor running surface.

Now reasons 5 and 6 are the “causes” of injury that we are focusing on in this post. I definitely plan on touching base on the other points in coming posts!


4 exercises

Keep in mind that this is not an all inclusive list. This is just a list of 4 exercises that I would strongly recommend if you didn’t have time to do anything else in your training each week. 

single leg glute bridge

When we run our hips and glutes stabilize us. The are the building blocks for the rest of the lower body. If the hips/glutes are weak then strengthening the rest of the leg will have little effect because your base of support isn’t there. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week

single leg bridge

With one leg bent and one leg out straight. Keep your core tight and lift you hips off the ground.


Similar to the glutes, the core helps stabilize everything on down. 

hold 20 seconds, repeat 3 times, 3 times per week




Squats are an all encompassing lower body strength exercise. They help strengthen the quads, hamstrings and glutes. 

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week


lateral lunge

As runners we are a forward moving object and athlete. Lateral movements just don’t happen in running. The lateral lunge is here to offset the fact that everything that happens in a run is moving forward. Adding in some lateral strength with help stabilize for uneven surfaces as well as prevent injury by balancing out the forward moving muscles.

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week

lateral lunge

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