Day 26: Squats = Runner’s Best Friend

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According to the Runkeeper.com blog Squats are a Runner’s Best Friend, “One of the biggest squat myths is that squats are bad for your knees. False! This myth comes from a few badly run studies in the 1960s that have since been disproved. More recent studies have instead shown that people who regularly squat have more stable knees.”

Squats provide important benefits to runners and walkers:

  1. Knee Stability
  2. Increased Leg Power
  3. Improved Body Awareness
  4. Injury Prevention

Additionally, “squatting  effectively teaches runners how to be better runners by addressing and improving basic athletic skills. For example, squatting teaches runners how to load and engage their posterior chain, how to stabilize their hips, knees, and ankles, and how to move with good posture and maintain that good posture for longer periods of time.”

To squat effectively, we must address three basic skills:

1. Maintaining posture
2. Adding load
3. Adding torque

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Focusing on developing our athletic skill with posture, load, and torque, a runner’s relationship with strength training can be changed forever. While we want stronger hamstrings, we cannot just do hamstring exercises and expect better running results. Why? Because the whole is greater than the sum of its muscular parts. We must strengthen the other areas around our hamstring to help support those muscles and take some of the load off that area. Squats are a great way to strength and support our hamstrings!

So even if you aren’t doing the extra squat challenge this month…today YOU SQUAT! 😉

Day 26 exercises: 3 sets of 15 

****Click here for how to videos**** 

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (3 sets of 15 for each leg)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (3X)
  • Plank – :60 (3X)

Bonus: Squat Challenge (75 additional Squats) 

Challenges: I know these are getting harder to fit in as the numbers go up but we are almost done! Keep pushing Crew don’t you dare give up!

  • Burpees – 55
  • Push Ups Beginner – 18
  • Push Ups Advanced – 105
  • Squats – 75

Remember Crew….we are building brutally strong legs this month! The month is almost over so hold on tight and keep up the great work! 🙂

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Days 18 & 19: Go Long and Stretch Deep

Accomplishments starts with tryingOnce again the weekend is upon us and it’s time to slow down, go long, and stretch deep.

Going long means doing a little more than we’re used too and the only way to accomplish something new and scary…is to try. The extra mile doesn’t come easy but when we finish…it’s the best feeling in the world.

When you’re faced with the decision to get out there for your long run…or skip it and go back to bed, remember that every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. So shake off those nerves, lace up your running shoes, and go make some new memories!

Day 18 exercises:

Day 19 exercises:

Running and Yoga support and enhance each other..here’s a few reasons why you should take the time for the deep stretch:

  1. Injury prevention: Running is a high impact activity, and our quads and hamstrings can get very tight both immediately after a run and long term if you’re a frequent runner. Continually stressing tight muscles can lead to injury. Combining running with stretching and a regular yoga practice is an excellent strategy for easing the tension of tight muscles, improving muscle length and toning. Yoga will complement the strength and power developed through running, and will help maintain mobility and stability within the joints. This will all help to support running and other activities.
  2. Breathing: This sounds silly perhaps, but yoga teaches you how to breathe. Not just that, yoga teaches you how to breathe in an efficient way so that you can actually breathe through some level of discomfort. Yoga reminds us that we can focus on our breath when doing something active like running, and make it into a type of moving meditation. This is part of, what runners refer to as, getting into “the zone” and being able to just keep on keeping on.
  3. Challenge: Many beginning yogis have quite possibly encountered a challenging pose and thought there was no earthly way they could do it. But with a regular practice and good guidance, one day they found themselves able to do that once unattainable pose, and to do it fluently to the point that they experienced that euphoric buzz of having faced a challenge, met it head on, and done what it is they set out to do. I think that those experiences in yoga teach us how to face other challenges in our lives too. This includes our goals in running; whether we want to run faster, run longer, or run more regularly.
  4. Toned body and mind: Running is, of course, a great cardio workout, but we know we’re also meant to work on whole body muscle tone and strength building to stay physically balanced. A very fitness oriented style of yoga, such as power/vinyasa/fit yoga, certainly offers a toning workout. In this style of yoga we maintain challenging poses and “all guns are firing” to support us. And of course the meditative effects of the yoga movements, and the treat of relaxation at the end of a yoga session, contribute to the mental health benefits we need to balance the physical fabulousness of our running and yoga practices.
  5. Recovery: The body does need rest to actually reap the benefits of the physical and mental activities that we do. Muscles need a chance to recover and the slower, more nurturing segments of our yoga practice encourages the muscles to let go of tension and metabolic waste while holding on to the positive effects of our work. A regular yoga practice also helps us to establish good sleep patterns and other healthy habits.

Don’t skip your stretches and Yoga this weekend Crew. It’s an important part of the plan and will help you become a more efficient, less injury prone runner.

When you slow down and focus on your muscles a deep stretch feels just like a good massage…and who doesn’t want a good massage after a nice long, hard run.

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