Running Pain and Injury Prevention
How to Stop and Prevent Leg Cramps
Prevent a Cramp: Two-Way Hops
Prevent a Cramp: Box Jump Plus Hop
Stop a Cramp: Calf Stretch
Stop a Cramp: Quad Stretch
Stop a Cramp: Hamstring Stretch
As many as 39 percent of distance runners may experience a cramp in their calves, hamstrings, or quadriceps before they finish a race. While many people blame dehydration, Kevin Miller, PhD, an exercise scientist at North Dakota State University who works full-time studying cramps, says exhaustion is usually the culprit. Here's how to fix (and even prevent) spasms in your tired legs.
To prevent a cramp: Jumping and hopping drills called plyometrics help keep muscle spindles (small nerves in muscles) from tiring. Cramps can occur when these spindles get fatigued. Do these moves twice a week after you run to condition the spindles in your legs.
To stop a cramp: If you experience a spasm, move to the side of the road and stretch.