Let’ start of with a riddle to check that you have been taking in all the information we have been publishing to help you get fitter and better prepared for running.
You should be able to fill in the missing words by now…
‘A strong trunk (or core) gives you the strength to hold a good xxxxxxx, which keeps your lower limbs biomechanically efficient, resulting in less risk of xxxxxx.
And stretching helps to realign your xxxxxxxx, keeping your soft tissues at the right xxxxxx and tension’. *
Now for the exercise. But first
Your knee cap (patella) should sit and move smoothly in a groove at the front end of your thigh bone (femur). The knee cap acts as a pivot point to allow your quadriceps to control your knee as it flexes and extends.
The knee cap is attached to the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle, which contracts to extend/straighten the knee. The patella is stabilized by the insertion of vastus medialis (inner aspect of your quadriceps muscle) and the prominence of the femoral condyles which create the groove, preventing lateral tracking or dislocation during flexion.
The primary functional role of the patella is for knee extension. The patella increases the leverage that the tendon can exert on the femur by increasing the angle at which it acts.
The Exercise:– small knee bends:
This exercise will help you to strengthen the muscles that control your hip rotation as you bend your knee, thus helping the quadriceps control the knee. This will also help to keep your knee cap in the right position, helping to avoid niggles and irritation between your patella and femur. In addition, this makes you much more stable when you land on one leg, especially when descending hills and when you get tired.
Start: stand on one leg, with your pelvis level and facing forward. Bend your knee a few degrees, whilst keeping your foot flat on the floor. Make sure your knee cap moves forward in line with your second toe (not big toe). No knock knees or bandy legs please.
As you bend and straighten, squeeze your buttock and abdominals at the same time, without tilting your pelvis.
Repeat 30 times on each leg, 3 sessions a week.
Stretch – standing piriformis
We did this stretch a while ago in a lying down position. This month, we’re going to stand up. The exercise above is working the muscles that control the hip from falling into internal rotation. This stretch makes sure that we have the necessary range of movement.
Start: stand on one leg. Cross your foot over your knee and bend at the knee and hip until your feel a stretch in your buttock area. You may need support to stop you overbalancing.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
*and the Missing words…….. Answer in 2 days time