You’ve heard the phrase different strokes for different folks right? Strength training for runners kind of fits that phrase. Some runners claim that building up leg muscle will make them heavy, and therefore reduce their speed. Other runners consistently add strength training to their workout plans to help increase speed.
Squats and lunges are two of the most popular lower body exercises. They work major muscles groups and you can practice this exercise at home, outdoors or at the gym. However squats and lunges can also be the most hated lower body exercises, because they’re hard. The harder they are the stronger you’ll get.
Another advantage to squats and lunges are that they can help prevent injury. When done correctly these exercises will help your stabilizing muscles. These are definitely muscles that you need to keep good form while running.
They key is – DOING THEM CORRECTLY.
Tips for proper lunge form:
- keep your hips straight forward and your core and chest upright
- keep your knees centered over your second toe and don’t push your knees forward past your toes
- keep a strong foot, don’t wobble and let your knee rotate inwards
Tips for proper squat form:
- the same goes for your knees in a squat – center them over your second toe and don’t push them too far forward
- push your bum back
- keep your back straight
How has strength training helped your race times? How often do you add lower body strength training to your workout plans?