Something we want all of our running athletes to be aware of is off-camber running – what it is, why it can be a problem, and what can be done to mitigate the problems associated with it.
So what is “running off-camber?”
Most roadways are bowed up in the middle of the street and fall off on the shoulders. Sports fields are the same way. This is great for water drainage, but not so great for runners.
The more off-camber (non-flat) the surface, the greater the lateral shearing force that is bestowed upon your joints in the lower legs, especially the knees and ankles.
If you run against traffic (since getting hit by cars is no fun), this shearing force is directed towards the inside of the knee on your right leg and towards the outside on your left.
Repeat this 80-90 times per leg per minute, and you can see how quickly this impact can add up to some problems and imbalances.
So what can you do about it?
- Be aware of your road surface and seek out flatter sections when possible
- Make sure you stay up on your hip strength – strong hips help stabilize the knees (see video below)
- Work on lower body stabilization by spending some time each day balancing on a bosu ball or balance disk. Remember that a straight leg will emphasize ankle and hip stabilization, while bending at the knee will incorporate knee stabilization as well.
If you’re interested in additional exercises and routines to help combat this issue, sign up for our newsletter. In the next few weeks we’ll be putting out some great run related content to keep you healthy and performing at a high level.
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