Get on the Ball for a Better Run

Running is a great go-to fitness boost, but even the most disciplined will acknowledge that it’s tough on the body. The last thing any runner wants is to be stuck not running, and recovery from injury can be a frustratingly slow process. So time spent daily on self-care is a worthwhile investment in injury and pain prevention.

Here are three techniques from Jill Miller, self-care expert and the creator of Treat While You Train that you can do to keep yourself on the run.

To get started, you’ll need:

Breath Pinwheel

Equipment: coregeous ball

Every runner knows that breathing is a constant activity during training and output. You want to be able to maximize lung volume throughout your race, whether you’re running uphill or downhill, over obstacles and so on. The torso rotates mildly as you’re hoofing it, and your breath can be quite restricted at the end ranges of spinal rotation. In order to improve your breath mechanics, adding in the Breath Windmill will help resolve stiffness in your breathing at those end ranges, so that your mid-range twisting does not result in overworking or leaking energy.

Quiet Quads

Equipment: YTU balls or plus pair

Quad stiffness is almost unavoidable. Your sore quads are not sliding and gliding well. This can lead to cramps, knee pain, and knee and hip issues. The YTU Balls will reinstate the internal mobility of your quads, so you can keep “pounding” the pavement.

Asymmetrical Runner’s Lunge on Block

Equipment: yoga block

Everyone loves improving hip range of motion, for a longer stride. This is one of the best stretches for targeting all of the hip musculature on the front and back of both legs. It will add ease to your run.

Switch sides.