Squats are one of those exercises I do when I get injured and then hit myself for not doing them as a preventive exercise beforehand. I know I always need to do them, but fail to take the time. This Saturday I woke up and got to enjoy the sun rising while doing a nice 5 mile run. I’m still taking it easy because of my leg, and since we rescheduled our Saturday run club meeting, I went to the gym with Mario. “Must strength train” I kept telling myself. I did a lot of squats a lot of different ways and I’m still struggling to sit down. However, today I went for a little run after the gym, and my form felt great. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the squats or my New Balance Minimus shoes, but it encouraged me to look into this exercise for today’s blog post.
Why should runners do squats?
Running makes you strong. We know that. But squats can do so much more for your body and running economy than the miles along the trail or empty roads. This one exercise strengthens the thighs, hips, butt, quads, and hamstrings. Even more, squats can strengthen the core, back, and shoulder muscles when done with proper form. The squat targets very specific muscles that are important for runners and they can be done in a variety of ways. Some say that squats are the single best exercise a person can do. Rightfully so, considering the many benefits: improved power, agility, balance, speed, posture, and stronger connective tissues, ligaments and stabilizing muscles. All of these benefits undoubtedly help maintain running form which leads to fewer injuries. Why do I not incorporate them into my weekly training until it’s too late? Geez Tracie. Maybe I’ve finally learned something…
Check out this video by Brian Martin on proper technique. He even includes a cool stick figure to illustrate his point:
In addition, he has a great article on the benefits of squats. I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll finally be able to sit down painfree. But come Wednesday, I’ll be back at the gym working on my glutes.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,