The Three Best Balance Exercises for Runners


Are you struggling with imbalances that ruin your running? If so, this short exercise sequence can help you fix your imbalances for fast & injury-free running.

Give it a try:

Our bodies are meant to be balanced so joints and ligaments are properly supported. As a physical therapist, I’m continually treating runners with injuries caused by imbalances.

If your goal is to run injury-free, then these exercises are for you!

First Variation

With our first exercise, start by balancing on your left leg with the right leg raised, knee forward. Tap your right heel on the ground in front of you and return to balancing on your left leg. Do five to ten reps, then switch to the other side.

Make sure your left knee isn’t drifting in as you bend your leg. The left knee should be right over your foot. You should feel controlled and balanced as you do this.

Second Variation

Balance on your left leg again. Tap your right heel on the ground out to the side (instead of in front). Keep your right foot facing forward as you tap your heel. Then come back up into a balance on your left leg. Do five to ten and switch sides.

Be careful not to let your knee collapse in toward the other knee due to weakness. We’re working on a lot of control and balance.

Third Variation

Balancing on your left leg, rotate your right leg out to the side and tap your heel on the ground. Your right foot should be pointing up instead of forward this time. Then come back up into a standing posture and balance.

This last variation is great for controlling pronation and improving foot strength. Make sure the knee is not going hard down and in. The knee should be tracking right over the foot. We don’t want a hard collapse due to weakness on the side.

Want a Challenge?

Do the exercise balanced on a foam garden pad. This harder variation is great for anyone struggling with pronation or foot strength.

The Run Down on Balance

If you want to run without injury, having good balance is crucial.

Using the runner-specific exercises above will correct compensations, ensuring you’ll put your best foot forward to fix & prevent injuries!

Ready to Run Injury-Free?

Learn how you unlock injury-free running with this free webinar from Physical Therapist, Steve Gonser.

Fix Imbalances

And Run Injury-Free!

Want to improve your run form?

Join the Midfoot Project 5-week run form bootcamp for the first time ever inside the RunSmart app. You’ll get a customized training plan, five guided audio runs, access to our team of Physical Therapists, and a community of like-minded runners.