Encouraging runners to take it one step at a time, or in this case, one leg at a time...


We often see runners in our office for chronic overuse injuries like IT band syndrome, shin splints and piriformis syndrome.  One of the conversations we have with these athletes’ is what type of resistance training are they doing to help prevent injuries?

In most cases, the answer is “What resistance training?” and in others it’s a quick set of push ups and sit ups before or after a run.  We like to introduce these athletes to a program that is specific to their sport and will help them perform better and prevent nagging injuries. 

Given that running is comprised of repetitively striking the ground with just one foot at a time, the main goal of a runner’s resistance training should be focused on unilateral (one sided) exercises.  Unilateral strength training will help to control hip hiking, knee valgosity and over pronation during your gait cycle.  These are common findings in runners with the overuse injuries listed above.

Below is a list of unilateral exercises for runners to incorporate into their training routine: 


Split Squat


One Legged Deadlift

Pistol Squat