Tips & Techniques

"Finding Your Balance: A Runner's Guide to Injury Prevention"

Megan Long 
March 12, 2024

Hey Runners! 

In today's blog, we take a look into a crucial aspect often overlooked by many runners – balance. If I were to ask you about your balance, would you confidently declare it as your forte, or would you join the majority responding, "Balance is not my thing"?

The linear nature of running, moving from point A to point B with occasional turns, can lead to imbalances in our stabilizing muscle groups. So, why should we pay attention to our balance?

The Importance of Balance for Runners:

Every time we land a stride, we're essentially balancing on one foot. If we lack the strength to maintain this balance, our risk of injury increases. Consider the ankles; a strong, stable contact with the ground is crucial during each landing. Without it, we spend several moments of our run correcting ankle positions, elevating the risk of rolling an ankle.

Similarly, unaddressed balance issues can impact the hips. Constantly correcting balance during a run can force our body to overcorrect and compensate with muscle groups not necessarily designed for this purpose, leading to muscle strains and potential injuries. 

Addressing the Balance Challenge:

So, how do we improve our balance? One effective method is incorporating single-leg strengthening exercises into our routines. Here are a few exercises to get you started:

  • Single-Leg Deadlifts:

Stand on one leg, hinging at the hip while lowering your torso.

Engage your core and return to an upright position.

  • Single-Leg Palof Press:

Attach a resistance band to a fixed point and press it away from your chest while standing on one leg.

Focus on stability and control throughout the movement.

  • Standing Single-Leg Hip Extension:


Stand on one leg with a slight bend your knee.

Reach your opposite leg back. A resistance band can be used for added challenge.

Incorporating these exercises into your training regimen not only helps enhance balance but also contributes to injury prevention, improving overall running performance.

As we navigate through this transitional weather and continue pounding the pavement or treadmill, let's not forget the importance of finding our balance. Strengthening those stabilizing muscles might just be the key to unlocking a smoother, injury-free running journey. 

Stay balanced, stay strong, and happy running!


For video demonstration of these great exercises.


Meet the Author
Megan graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Since graduating Megan has been treating patient in the outpatient orthopedic environment. She specializes in treating performing artists such as dancers, cheerleaders, gymnasts, and ice skaters. Megan has participated in several dance and gymnast specific courses and conferences over the years. Some of Megan's advanced training includes: Graston Technique, Rock-tape, Pose Certified Running Technique Specialist, Myofascial Decompression.
You were made to move!