How to Prevent Running Injuries - Buffalo Rehab Group
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How to Prevent Running Injuries

Nov 29, 2023 | Running

Is strength training part of your running routine?

If you answer no, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury.

In this blog, we’ll explore common running injuries and how they occur, and introduce you to a series of glute-strengthening exercises that can help you stay injury-free.

Many common running injuries stem from a lack of glute strength.

Your glutes are some of the most powerful muscles in your body. They play a crucial role in stabilizing your pelvis, providing support to your hips and knees, and maintaining proper form while running.

When these muscles are weak, the load is shifted to other areas, often resulting in overuse injuries.

Common Running Injuries Due to Weak Glutes

  • Plantar Fasciitis: : This painful condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a ligament in your foot, becomes inflamed due to improper biomechanics. Weak glutes can lead to overpronation, placing extra stress on your arches.
  • Shin Splints: Weak glutes can contribute to poor hip control, leading to excessive inward rolling of the foot and increased strain on the shin muscles.
  • Runner’s Knee: Inadequate glute strength can affect the alignment of your kneecap, causing pain and discomfort around the knee joint.
  • IT Band Syndrom: The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. Weak glutes can lead to excessive tension in the IT band, causing pain on the outer side of the knee.
  • Hip Pain: Weak glutes can result in poor hip stability, which can lead to various hip issues and discomfort during and after running.

Now that you understand the importance of strong glutes in preventing running injuries, let’s dive into the glute-strengthening exercises you can incorporate into your routine:

Backward Reach

Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Place your hands on your hips or by your sides for balance.

Lift your right foot off the ground and extend it straight behind you while leaning your upper body forward slightly, tap your toe.

Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times on each leg.

If you’re struggling to maintain your balance, you can modify this exercise by using a furniture slider. Place the slider under the foot you are extending. This helps reduce friction and makes the movement smoother.

If you’d like more of a challenge, incorporate hand weights.

45-Degree Backward Reach

Begin in the same position as you did for the backward reach.

Extend your right leg diagonally behind you, focusing on engaging your glutes and maintaining a stable core. Tap your toe.

Return to the starting position and switch to the left leg.

Perform 15 reps per leg.


Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Lift your right foot off the ground and extend it diagonally behind you. As you extend your leg, lift the same side arm above your head. (Right leg, right arm; left leg, left arm)

Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times on each leg.

Incorporate these exercises into your regular routine to help strengthen your glutes and reduce the risk of running injuries.

Strengthening your glutes can go a long way in enhancing your running performance and keeping you healthy on the road or trail!

Are you a runner struggling with pain or injury?

Unlike other medical providers, Buffalo Rehab Group understands your need to run. Get back to running pain- and injury-free with help from a Physical Therapist who loves running, too!

Click below to learn more about our specialized Physical Therapy services for runners: