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Here’s why running on the spot is bad for your knees and muscles

Published on:26 July 2021, 17:48pm IST
Running on the spot may be your only chance at working out amidst the pandemic but here’s why it can prove to be bad for your fitness.
Grace Bains
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on the spot running
On the spot running can prove to be harmful but here’s how to deal with it! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There is no denying that running has many health benefits. Running regularly helps build strong bones, as it is a body weight exercise, strengthens muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, and helps maintain a healthy weight. The debate over whether one should run on the spot, or not, on a treadmill, or out in the open, has been looming large for many years now.

When it comes to running on the spot, there are certain factors that you should consider as you lace up.

Here’s how you run on the spot

You stand on a flat surface and lift your legs to knee height. You then land on your feet and roll onto your heels. Swinging your arms while raising the legs, keeping the back and shoulders straight throughout.

on the spot running
On the spot running is fairly easy and fun! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To run on the spot or not to?

This is why running on the spot can be detrimental to your health:

1. Joint pain: Oftentimes, running on the spot is done at home. So, when this movement is performed on a stiff surface like marble or granite, there is relatively less generation of ground reaction forces, which are helpful for reinforcing the bones. Therefore, running on the spot may not facilitate absorption of ground reaction forces, leading to increased impact on joints, causing pain and discomfort.

2. Heightened stress on muscles: Running on the spot can put stress on certain muscles, especially if done for longer durations. You may end up experiencing pain in the hips and thigh muscles, shins, ankles, and ankles.

3. Burning calories: On the spot running may not be as effective as running outdoors. This is because the wind resistance outside helps burn more calories.

4. Perceived exertion: Whether running on the spot or out in the open, it’s important to maintain the same effort level. The effort is estimated by ‘perceived exertion’, meaning how hard you consider an activity to be, irrespective of how your body responds to that activity. Running on the spot will be less hard than running outdoors on a rainy or cold day even if you burn more calories or have a faster heart rate.

on the spot running
On the spot running can leave you with multiple health problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are a few precautions you can take when running on the spot

In case, you have included on the spot running in your daily regime, consider the following tips to avoid injuries:

  • Build up your routine slowly and make sure you’re using the correct form. Stop running if you have any injuries or feel you’ve pushed yourself too hard.
  • A proper warm-up can improve blood flow to the working muscle and reduce stiffness, potentially lowering the risk of injury.
  • Power your workouts with a pair of sturdy and comfortable shoes that provide good arch support and have a cushioned heel to absorb shock, as well as loose and breathable clothing that gives you room to move.

So ladies, be mindful of these tips and considerations when you run on the spot, next time!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.