The Role of Single Leg Balance & Strength for Runners

It is known that running is not a two-legged activity. Running is a series of single leg stances, and single leg propulsion. Often, weakness in stability during any phase of running can be the cause of injury. Single leg balance requires a great amount of micro control that involves muscles in the feet, lower legs and stabilizer muscles. Weakness in any of these areas can often result in compensation leading to common injuries in the anterior knee, IT Band, achilles and plantar fascia. Compensation and poor muscle recruitment patterns can result in less efficient bio mechanics as well. This can mean fatigue sets in earlier on leading to slower running. We believe that a combination of strength and single leg balance can be a great addition to your strength training or injury prevention routine. Here are a few exercise ideas to add to your program. 

Single leg balance on bosu, pillow or wobble board 

SL Balance

Runner touch 

Runner Touch A Runner Touch B

Step ups 

Step Up A step up B

Single leg squat 

SL Squat A

Single leg balance with ball toss 

ball toss

Single leg kettlebell rotation

single leg with rotation


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If this time last year someone would have said to me, "By April 2016 you'll have run 3 5Ks and will be running 15 miles every week (and enjoying it!)," I'd have laughed and made a joke about being chased by a scary clown. But, here I am, just finished my 3rd 5K with a time a little bit better than the last.  I'm really glad RunningLane encourages beginners. As someone who has never run or even been very athletic, it's nice to have guidance and a place to get my questions answered. Big thanks to my coach, Michael for setting me up with a program that I can stick with and challenges me.  My program is just that…mine.  It is tailored to my fitness level and ability and having someone to check in with each week keeps me accountable. It’s working!  In 14 weeks with my coach and RunningLane my BMI has dropped 5 points, my cholesterol went from over 200 to 165, and my resting heart rate has lowered because my heart is healthier and happier!  Thank you, RunningLane!