24 Apr '14, 5am

Is your body out of balance? Avoid injury by getting your right and left sides in sync:

Every runner has a dominant side that's stronger and more stable. In fact, which side you favor is genetically coded, says Reed Ferber, Ph.D., director of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary . A simple balance test (below) will tell you if you have a weak side. What's the value of knowing which side is stronger? When you favor one side, the resulting weakness on the opposite side can leave you more vulnerable to injury. Your body uses two strategies to balance on one foot. First, it tweaks ankle and foot muscles. The second is a "hip strategy"—you twist your torso to steady yourself. But when you run, you're not using the ankle strategy at all, putting the strain of compensating for your weaker side entirely in the hips. "Leg dominance won't cause injury," he says, "but strengthening the hip and working on balance will help you avoid it." Taking Sides So...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/find-your-balance?cm_m...

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