A few days ago I ran a 10k race (6.2 miles) that I had not been preparing for.
Usually, I’ll run five times a week, maybe three to five miles, just so I’m ready when the starting gun is fired.
But prior to this race, I had been playing lots of tennis, a sport I love, which had put a lot of pressure on my knees and hips. I’ve had hip and knee pain in the past, so I decided to add in a few exercises to help me get through the 10k.
It’s a race I run every year so I had to tough it out. It wasn’t the wisest decision at 58 years of age, but I wasn’t going to miss out for lack of effort.
To get through the race I knew I had to do specific exercises for my knees. First I did knee extensions, which is basically sitting down with ankle weights on and extending my foot upward. That exercise works your quadriceps. Then I jumped on the leg curl machine at the gym to work my hamstrings. I used light weights for both exercises, with lots of reps.
For my hips, I did lateral leg raises. That exercise strengthens your glute medius muscle, which helps with lateral movement and stabilizes your hips when you walk and run.
Because I did those exercises I got through the race with flying colors. That said, I always tell my clients to “prepare” for their sporting activities. Each sport has specific exercises that help to maintain your body and prevent injury. Just engaging in the sport itself is usually not the best way to be proficient at it.
For instance, if you’re a tennis player you’ll probably need some shoulder exercises to help improve and maintain your game. If you play basketball you’ll need knee and hip exercises to stay on the court. Therefore, if you’re getting up there in age, talk to your personal trainer to get specific exercises for your sport.
The goal is always to have fun and be in top form, without being injured.