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Get a Leg to Stand On

Get a Leg to Stand On

Try this one simple but often overlooked injury-prevention exercise for runners, from Leanna Stracco, DPT.


When we run, we perform a mini single leg squat with each step. One way to prevent injury to our hip, knee, or ankle is working on balance. Working on single leg balance has been shown to prevent chronic lower extremity injuries such as patellofemoral (knee) pain and shin splints.

Stand on one leg with your hands on your hips. Can you do this for 30 seconds without losing your balance? If so, try closing your eyes. If you have difficulty with this it could mean that the nerves and muscles in your leg could use some work. 

Practice this at home! Stand on one leg (either eyes open or eyes closed) for 30 seconds for 3 times on each side at least a few times each week. If you have an easy time with your eyes open but are unable to achieve 30 seconds with your eyes closed, try looking back and forth over your right and left shoulder during that 30 seconds.

At Benchmark PT we would love to develop an exercise program specifically for you. We can help with pain you currently have or prevent the development of new aches and pains. Please contact me at or visit to find the clinic closest to you.

Tell them you are training for the Helvetia Half Marathon 10K or 5K and you will receive a complimentary strength screening to make sure that you are good to go before the race!


Leanna Stracco, DPT, is the clinic director at Benchmark Physical Therapy at 7208 Northeast Cornell Road in Hillsboro. Benchmark is a proud sponsor of this year's Helvetia Half Marathon on June 1 in Hillsboro.


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