Unsure of whether to run or rest? Take the single leg hop test

 In Running

Unsure of whether to run or rest? Take the single leg hop test

Many runners struggle with knowing whether to rest or train when they are experiencing a running related pain, niggle, or injury.

The runner fears losing fitness or conditioning, but also fears the potential worsening of a running  related niggle through not resting adequately.

Runner’s know this internal conflict well, as do most runner’s partners.

In giving clinical advice as to  whether to run or rest a physiotherapist will take many factors into account, such as: training volume, date of next event, rest schedules or cycles, current injury history, and previous injury profile.

The Single Leg Hop Test

As a quick self test for home I have for years issued runners with the following test. I call it the ‘single leg hop test’. It provides a sound guide for runners to make a decision whether to run or rest.

If you are unable to hop on the affected or sore leg 6-12 times without pain that exceeds >3/10 than it is likely that you are not wise to run or train, until such a time as you can hop with 0/10 or pain that is <3/10 on a self reported pain scale.

In practice I have found this test to be useful for a wide range of running injuries including: ITB friction syndrome, shin pain (splints), achilles tendon conditions, foot bony stress injuries, glute medius tendon conditions, anterior hip impingement, and more.

The principle being that if you struggle to perform some controlled single leg hopping, than the more complex and loaded running movement will likely exacerbate the pain of your injury.

*Tip: if your pain on hopping is a 1-2/10 it may be OK to start your run, but take note as your run if your pain increases to > 5/10 pain to stop and walk it in.

Failure to adhere to this test an push through pain with successive training sessions places the runner in perilous position with a likely worsening and progression of their injury (e.g shin splints, Achilles tendon problems etc).

If you are in doubt get your pain assessed by a physiotherapist well versed and interested in running.

In wise running training,

Brad Beer physiotherapist gold coast

Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist, Runner, Author You CAN Run Pain Free!, Founder POGO.

POGO Physio Gold Coast Brad Beer running physio book

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