Runners typically don’t pay much attention to their knees until they start hurting. And then, often, they run through the pain until it becomes too much, which can lead to injury. Luckily, the Zero Runner allows you to keep training but without the impact, helping to avoid injury.
The key to pain-free knees is strength training and cross training to work the entire lower body – glutes, hip flexors, abductors, adductors, quads, hamstrings and calves – to address any weak links in the chain and to help you maintain a strong posture throughout runs, even when fatigued.
Cross training can remove some of the harmful, repetitive impact of running while still emphasizing cardiovascular conditioning. Great options include the elliptical, cycling, stairclimbers and the new Zero Runner, which lets runners use their natural gait and stride, just like running outside, without any impact. The Zero Runner’s hip and knee joints help fully support runners, and gait tracing technology lets them monitor the health of their stride.
Furthermore, CROSS CiRCUIT on the Zero Runner is a valuable training program that combines running segments with intervals of strength training and flexibility exercises. These sessions can improve cardiovascular endurance, along with strength and stability, for not only stronger knees, but also enhanced overall performance.
And for specific exercises you can do at home or at the gym to strengthen the knees, check out the “Strong in the Knees” article in the April 2015 issue of Runner’s World. Here, Dr. Jordan Metzl suggests six exercises that should be performed twice weekly to help prevent knee injuries. These include jump squats, walking lunges, low side-to-side lunges, mountain climbers, lateral band walks and a reverse hip raise. All you need is your body, a resistance band and a stability ball.
Adding cross training with a Zero Runner and specific exercises to your running regimen ultimately can help prevent injuries and keep you running stronger and longer.