I think these are good exercises. In battling an injury now, I've realized that going to the weight room is not all about lifting weights to make your muscles stronger. It's also about strengthening the smaller stability muscles. These are good to add to your strength routine.
The five most common running injuries—and how to make sure you never get them.
From the October 2010 issue of Runner's World
When a runners gets hurt, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), shinsplints, or runner's knee usually is the diagnosis. Allison Lind, a physical therapist in New York City, developed an exercise program that will make you less vulnerable to these five injuries. Do them together as a prerun routine.
Prevent ITBS by strengthening the gluteus medius muscle near the hip. When it's weak, another upper-leg muscle overcompensates and pulls on the ITB, causing pain along the outside of the leg, down to the knee.
Lie on your side with your hips and legs stacked. Lift your top leg up, keeping it straight, but point your toes inward and toward the ground to isolate the gluteus medius. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Roll over so your opposite leg is on top, and repeat. Do three sets on each leg, working up to one minute per set.
HEEL WALKING AND BIG-TOE RAISERS
Prevent shinsplints by strengthening the muscles that attach to the shinbone.
A. Walk in place barefoot for one minute with your forefeet off the ground. Do three sets.
B. Lift the big toe of one foot as high as you can, lower, repeat 10 times. Switch feet. Do three sets.
HALF-SQUATS ON A DOWNWARD SLOPE
Prevent runner's knee by strengthening the quads to keep the kneecap aligned.
Stand facing down a hill or on a decline board. Squat halfway between the start position (straight leg) and a full squat (90 degrees). Do three sets of 10. Too easy? Try single-leg squats (below).
Prevent Achilles tendinitis by strengthening the calves.
The move: Stand barefoot with the balls of your feet on a step. Rise up on your toes with both feet. Shift your weight to one foot; lower down on that foot. Rise up on both, lower on one. Do three sets of 10 on each side.
Prevent plantar fasciitis by strengthening foot muscles.
Stand barefoot on one leg. Imagine your foot is a tripod and place even pressure on your big toe, pinkie toe, and heel. Ground these three points as you "scrunch up" your arch. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat three times.