Most runners run because they love running. They love getting out on the road or the track, they love the time to reset, to reflect, and they love the feeling of achievement after every run – from a competitive race to a slow jog around the park! But what if I told you that there was a way to make your running smoother and faster, to avoid running injuries, and therefore to get more enjoyment out of it!
Running is essentially a series of one legged hops in a row. In order to improve this, you need to develop the strength and the stability of the movement. The best way to do this is to Squat.
There really is not a better exercise to focus on your core, hips, glutes, and leg strength. Any runner who does not squat is missing out on all the benefits this exercise brings in terms of strength and stability. It can also help to erase any muscle imbalances you have, where one side of your body is doing all the work! Start off just doing body weight squats, ensuring your knees are in line with your toes, and do not extend over your toes. If you can manage this, add a small weight like a medicine ball. Aim for a high volume of reps in order to mimic more closely the requirements of running! You will very soon start feeling the benefit in your muscles, and see the benefits in your running times!
Once you have mastered the squat you can progress to exercises on a single leg.
If you are unsure if you are doing it correctly, or if the squatting movement causes you pain, speak to a good sports trainer or physiotherapist about assessing the movement before you add weigh to it!
See your UFIT Clinic Physiotherapist to get you back to full health today!