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How to Prevent 3 Common Workout Injuries

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On top of taking it slow (don't up your total mileage by more than 10 percent every three weeks), reduce your injury risk with these tips from Luke Humphrey, owner of Hanson's Coaching Services in Lake Orion, Michigan.
Ouch! Shin Splints

The culprit: Tight calves -- as they get stronger, they also get tighter. This often strains tendons and muscles along the sides of the legs, causing tendinitis.

The fix: Stretch your calves after every workout. Stand in front of a wall, feet hip-width apart. Step right leg forward (knee bent, left leg straight), place palms on wall, and lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.

Ouch! Plantar Fasciitis

The culprit: The plantar fascia, a band of tissue along the bottom of the foot. If overstretched, tiny tears can develop, causing inflammation.

The fix: Roll a golf ball with the bottom of your foot for 5 to 10 minutes a day to help break up scar tissue.

Ouch! Runner's Knee

The culprit: Weak thigh muscles, which are supposed to keep knees aligned, let kneecaps go off track, causing pain.

The fix: Strengthen quads with walking lunges. Lunge forward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees, keeping right knee behind toes. Stand up. Do 15 reps, alternating sides; 3 sets.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2008.


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