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Kate Grace’s balance exercises for runners

A five-minute drill session that can help stability and foot strength

When runners think about sport-specific strength training, they tend to think of squats, dead lifts and maybe some activation, but rarely of balance. However, upon further reflection, runners spend all of their time hopping between legs, and the efficient transition between legs is actually a function of balance. Kate Grace is a Bowerman Track Club athlete and 2016 Olympian in the 800m who posted her five-minute balance routine to Instagram this week, saying that this has become an important part of her training that she completes twice weekly. If you’re looking for something new to try in the gym, look no further. 

RELATED: Emma Coburn’s 3-minute post-run mobility routine

All of these exercises can be done without the board to start. Begin on solid ground and work your way up a balance board (or a half-bosu ball). Each exercise should be done for 30 seconds.

Tippy birds

Rotate your hips and follow it up with a hip-hinge (also known as a single leg dead lift). This will work your core and your hamstrings. 

Foot rockers

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On the board, rock back and forth to work on ankle flexion and foot stability. If you’re looking for more ankle mobility ideas, see here

Banded twists

Great for oblique strength, the banded twist works your core. Try and keep you lower-body stable, with minimal movement.

Standing hip extensions

With a band, spread your feet about shoulder-width apart and move your lifted leg back and slightly away from your body. You should feel this in your glutes.

RELATED: Foot and ankle mobility exercises for runners