Balance Exercises for Runners

By: Shana Urban PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS

While running, we spend 0% of the time on two feet. Balance and single leg stability are extremely important for proper running form. Adding balance and single leg exercises to your workout will be very beneficial to improve your running.

Single Leg Knee Drive

  • Begin standing on one leg with the other raised and opposite arm in running position.
  • Straighten the bent leg and reach it behind you. Bend trunk slightly forward, bending the other knee slightly and bring the other arm forward.
  • Return to the starting position by driving the knee up and forward, then repeat.
  • Try to maintain balance by keeping the foot, knee, and hip aligned facing forward.
  • Repeat 10 times then switch sides. Perform a total of 3 sets on each side.

Single leg hip abduction with a band

  • Resistance band can be placed around thighs, ankles, or feet.
  • Begin standing on one leg with the other leg hanging off a ledge, platform, or step.
  • Extend your non-standing leg slightly back so that your toes are in line with the heel of the other foot.
  • Slowly move your leg out to the side keeping your knee straight and your toes facing forward. Upper body should not lean.
  • Then return to the starting position while maintaining balance on one leg.
  • Repeat 10 times then switch sides. Perform a total of 3 sets on each side .

Single Leg Balance on Pillow

  • Begin standing with knees unlocked on a firm pillow or folded up blanket.
  • Slowly lift one foot off the ground and maintain balance.
  • Make it more challenging by closing your eyes.
  • Attempt to maintain for at least 30 seconds then switch sides. Repeat 5 times on each side.