When you think about exercises that are helpful for running, squats may not be the first choice that comes to mind.
However, squats are a fantastic exercise for runners, for a number of different reasons.
Squats are great for runners because they help to improve your leg power. Squats are not an easy exercise to do, especially when you combine multiple squat sets.
When you think about the muscles you use when running, it is important that you incorporate them all into your training and exercise regime.
Being a runner requires your muscles to be strong, especially when you are a short distance runner - power is everything. However, even when it comes to long distance running, it is still important that your muscles are able to endure the many miles you need to run.
Squats are a great exercise that will help to improve your leg muscles. It allows their endurance to be increased, and it is a great way of improving your muscular strength overall. As squats help to improve muscular endurance, this translates well when running.
For example, if your leg muscles are stronger, they can withstand different types of terrain with ease.
If you are running on surfaces that are more uneven and your legs are not overly strong, this can potentially cause discomfort and injury. However, squats help to prevent this as your muscles are stronger.
Having stronger legs will certainly benefit you as a runner. The stronger your legs are, the more you will be able to push yourself, especially at the beginning and the end of a run. In addition to this, it is likely that you will be able to run for longer as your legs will tire more slowly.
The most important thing to remember when squatting is your form. While squatting is a fantastic exercise to carry out alongside your other training aspects, you will need to ensure you are squatting correctly.
If you have bad form, this will not help to strengthen your body and core muscles. Instead, this can potentially cause more damage than necessary.
When you are squatting, it is important that your thighs remain parallel to the ground and that you have a straight back.
A lot of beginners make the mistake of bending their back, but you will want to avoid this. To begin with, your form is more important than how deep your squat is.
Always remember to take the exercises slowly. Squats are not a race, and it is far better to carry out less squats that are correct, instead of performing more that are in bad form.
Do squats make you faster?
Yes, to an extent squats will make you faster. While they are not the sole reason why you will improve your performance, they can certainly be a factor that will help with this. As we have mentioned above, this is due to squats helping to strengthen your leg muscles.
The stronger your leg muscles are, the faster you will be able to run. In addition to this, you will have increased endurance. This increased endurance allows you to run for longer periods without tiring.
While you may not link this to being faster, having stronger muscles means that you will likely be able to run at a faster pace, for a longer period.
Squats are also great for your core muscles in addition to your legs. Core muscles play an important role in helping to improve your performance.
When it comes to your start and finishes, squats are a fantastic exercise. This is because they will improve your leg power.
With an improved leg power will come faster starts and finishes. While this is important in long distance running, this is especially prevalent for sprinters.
As you may have noticed, sprinters have particularly muscular legs, more so in comparison to distance runners. This is because they need to have powerful legs.
Given this, exercises such as squats and weight lifting are especially important if you want to increase your speeds.
While this may sound counterproductive, when you think about block starts and pace for sprinters, these are so important. You will want to have as much power in your legs as possible, in order to propel yourself forward, and give yourself the best start.
While practice is important for any type of running, there is a lot more that should go into your training regime besides practicing your event.
Without powerful legs that are able to withstand long distances, and endure sprints, you are unlikely to be as great as you can be.
This is why it is so important to focus on strength training too. Given this, squats certainly will help to improve your speed. While you cannot rely on squats solely, they certainly are helpful.