Back to leg basics on Thursdays. Watch the videos below to get a refresher on how to do these exercises correctly.
Squats: Chances are you’ve done a squat, but have you really done one correctly? Before even grabbing a set of dumbbells or trying a squat variation, watch this video to make sure your form is on point. You’ll learn what the body should look and feel like during a squat and what other exercises can help you master this one correctly. But, most importantly, you’ll be saving yourself from major injury.
Side Lunges: Asymmetrical standing exercises, like lunges, are great for challenging a runner’s balance, proprioception and dynamic flexibility. Lunge exercises change the load distribution and emphasize one leg rather than two. These exercise variations also challenge and improve dynamic stability in the torso and lower body. Therefore, these exercises may have more carryover to improving the running stride compared to bilateral leg exercises.
So why side lunges? My running coach says side lunges are better for the knees AND they also give us more flexibility and range of motion in our hips!
Wall Sit: When most runners think about “The Wall” they don’t think about the physical structures that hold roofs over our heads. With many fall Marathons having come and gone, it’s time to stop worrying about “The Wall” and starting using one of those wonderful structures to get a head start on next racing season!
Wall sits are a great down-and-dirty strength exercise to build strength in your quadriceps and calves. When you’re doing a wall sit, your quads are holding your weight up by pushing it against the wall, and your calves are working to keep your knees bent at a 90° angle.
By strengthening your thigh muscles, you are helping stabilize your knees, which helps lower your risk of injury. Runner’s Knee, which is an unfortunate and common injury for distance runners, can be caused by weak thigh muscles, among other things. By strengthening your quads, you’re helping reduce risk of injury.
Watch Scott Herman (another one of my favorites) show us how to do a proper wall sit.