A Squat Could Be a Runners Best Friend!
Most runners know that an element of strength training in their training plan is important to help with endurance, speed and injury prevention. But how many of us actually know or practice strength training exercises on a regular basis? And what exercises should you be doing?
One of the most important strength exercises a runner can do is The Squat.
Running requires strong legs and squatting is probably the most effective way to strengthen our legs as it works a large group of muscles – hamstring, hip, quadriceps and glutes. An effective squat also takes a certain amount of stability, especially if using weights, using your core muscles and helping to make you a well balanced runner.
Another benefit of incorporating squats into your routine is increased flexibility.
Bodyweight squats are easy to do and require no equipment. After running try doing 3 x sets of 10 squats. Keeping your back straight and ensuring that your thighs are at least parallel with your knees. Hold your arms out in front of you to help with balance.
As this becomes easier start to introduce a pause at the bottom of your squat. Try not to pause at the top as this is the rest position. Pausing at the bottom instead of the top will increase the intensity of the exercise. The key is not to rush, the slower the movement the more effective.
There are various levels of squats – if you have access to a gym then on a non-running day you could try weighted back squats / front squats and progress to overhead squats.
Check out this video in our Medalmad gym demonstrating the squat.