Top 7 Mobility Drills For Runners

Sporty young woman sitting and resting after workout or exercise on the outdoor stairs

Looking for some of the best mobility drills for runners?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Running is one of the best exercises to improve endurance, fitness, and health. But without proper recovery practices, it can, sooner or later, cause strains, pains, and injuries.

Here’s the truth. Improving your mobility is one of the best things you can do to improve your running performance.  This helps you keep good running technique and enhance your running efficiency and economy. This can also help you reduce injury risk.

In today’s post, I’ve put together a list of some of the best mobility exercises for runners. Try adding these either as a part of your post-run routine or doing your gym workouts.

Runners And Hip Problems

For most runners, the weak link is the hips.

If you do serious running while not stretching as often as you should, chances are you have tight hip flexors, and your glutes and the surrounding muscles are weak.

This dysfunction often causes numerous overuse injuries, such as the runner’s knee, iliotibial band syndrome, and low back pain.

How come?

The main factors contributing to underperforming hip flexors include sitting for long periods, bad running mechanics, lack of proper strength and mobility training, and overuse.

That’s not the whole story.

Running’s repetitive motion shortens our hip muscles. That’s why hip issues are pretty common among runners—and why including hip mobility works is key for runners.

For these reasons—and some more—it’s vital to include mobility work as it helps to release tight muscles. Thanks to mobility work, you can regain or improve your flexibility and range of motion and soothe some of the tension and stress that accumulates in the muscles and joints during training.

What’s more?

Working on mobility is not rocket science nor time-consuming at all. The whole routine won’t take more than 20 minutes, so you got no excesses.

Mobility Exercises Every Runner Should Do

Without further ado, here’s a series of exercises you can almost do anywhere to improve your hip mobility and strength. The following exercises will help loosen your hip flexors and strengthen the surrounding stabilizing muscles.

  1. Standing Hip Figure Eight

Begin by standing on your left leg, then bring your right knee up to a 90-degree angle and then move it through a figure “8” motion. Hold on to a chair or wall for balance.

2. The 90/90

Start by sitting on the ground, then bend your right leg in front of your body with your hip rotavated out.

Next, get your chin as close to your foot as possible by moving your upper body forward. Again, keep the motion fluidly and only hold at the bottom for a moment.

Repeat the movement 8 to 10 times, then switch sides. Make sure to keep your torso stacked over your hips the entire time.

You should feel tension throughout your body as you go through the movements.

Spend around 60 to 90 seconds on each side to complete one set.

Start by placing your right leg forward and your left back. Next, position your left leg beside you while keeping your hip rotavated inward and your ankle and shin on the floor. Next, bend your right knee so your leg forms a 90 degrees angle. Your ankle should be neutral, and your left knee in line with your hip.

3. Spiderman Stretch

Assume a push-up position, supporting your weight on your hands and toes. Make sure to engage your core, so your back is flat and not arched or rounded.

Next, bring your right leg to the outside of your hands, with the foot pointed forward and the entire foot planted on the floor. Next, let your right knee travel far ahead of your foot for more stretch by dropping your hips toward the ground. Just keep your heel planted on the ground the entire time.

Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, flexing slightly forward for a deeper stretch. Then bring your right leg back to the push-up position and change sides for anywhere from 6 to 8 reps for each leg.

4. Supine Hip Rotation

Start by lying flat on your back, arms extended to your sides with your palms on the floor.

Next, while bending your knees to a 90-degree angle, bring your legs into the air, then drop them to your right side. Again, make sure to keep the upper and middle back flat on the ground.

You should feel the stretch deep into your left hip. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then bring your legs back to the starting position and switch sides.

Repeat 4 to 6 times per side.

5. Frog Stretch

Start in a table position on your hands and knees, facing sideways on your mat. Make sure your knees are under your hips and your wrist under your shoulders.

Next, lower your upper body to your forearms while sliding your knees apart. If your knees are sensitive, you can fold your yoga mat or add planets to help take off some of the pressure.

Hold the stretch for one to two minutes. Then slowly return to starting position. You’re doing it right if you only feel the stretch or tightness in your inner thigh/adductor area.

6. The Yogi Squat

This is a hard one to pull off, so if you struggle to stay upright and/or on your feet, feel free to hold onto a chair or railing for balance.

Assume an athletic stance, with feet about shoulder-width apart and legs turned out from your hips. Next, while engaging your core and keeping your low back fat, lower yourself into a low squat position. Do your best to tock side to side without falling over.

Bend your knees and hips and slowly lower into a very low squat while keeping your chest up, knees in line with your toes, and heels planted on the floor the entire time.

For a deeper stretch, place your elbows within your knees, then press your palms together in front of your chest.

7. Reverse Plank/inverse tabletop

Start by lying on your back with hands placed by your rips and fingertips facing your feet.

Next, press your hips upward so that your hands and feet are the only part of your your body in contact with the ground. Make sure your body is straight from your head to your feet.

For a deeper stretch, lift your right knee off the floor and hold for 20-30 seconds.

Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking to improve your mobility as a runner, then today’s article will put you on the right path. The rest is just details.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.