Some people act like cardio and strength training are bitter ENEMIES. But despite all the arguing, I know they’re COMPATIBLE! So now I want to answer the question: “Are squats good for runners?”
The answer’s yes!! Especially for people new to cardio, strength training can MEGA AMPLIFY your running ability.
And, you wanna start running? Then you need LEGS, girl!
(Contrary to what the title implies, this article is for the GENTS too! Don’t wanna leave anyone out! 😉 )
So…have you ever tried to get into running, and just dove in feet-first without learning anything about the sport? (Yes, it is a SPORT!!)
And did you notice that the first thing to make you quit was NOT the fact that you were out of breath or feeling overheated or whatever…Maybe your LEGS felt too tired, first!
That’s what happened to me, anyway, when I FIRST started running years ago (this was back before I started weight training).
What the heck, right?? What’s up with those tired legs quitting even before your lungs and heart feel like stopping.
Well, before you hop back outside to try again, let me actually tell you what’s up, so you don’t hurt yourself (like I almost did, so I’m not judging)!
So you probably think of running as something that takes endurance, and not strength. But that’s not true!! You NEED to work out your leg muscles with weights in order to be in top form as a runner, because this improves blood flow, and more oxygen is going to those muscles, meaning they last longer. (AKA endurance!) The more oxygen is pumping into your leg muscles, the easier it is to run up an incline, or run faster over a longer distance.
So if you’re a runner or a wannabe runner, and your legs get tired easily, the problem is that your legs are not getting enough oxygen! In the solution is weight lifting to target those muscles. If you’re not familiar with that part of the gym, start with lunges or squats. Are squats good for runners? Of course, so you might even be wondering WHY some runners are so against lifting weights.
The problem for some runners is, they’re afraid of adding bulk and mass through muscle, because they think it will slow them down.
But actually, the best and most efficient way to get leg muscles that soak up the oxygen is: lower reps with higher weight! So don’t be afraid to go for the dumbbells that are 5 lb more, or add 20 more pounds to the leg press machine, as long as you know you can safely handle it!
Don’t be afraid of muscles impacting your ability to run quickly, is all I’m saying, because as long as you have a balanced workout routine and don’t become a bonafide “weight lifter,” you won’t need to worry about “getting too big”!
Here’s the “kicker”: one last reason you should really be working out your LEGS as a runner is, strong leg muscles prevent you from getting injured! So if somehow you’re STILL wondering, are squats good for runners…Well, NOT doing strength training to even out your body could be really bad!!
Squats improve your posture and alignment while running, because if one muscle group is weaker than another, it’s hard on your ligaments and tendons and you’re very likely to tear something!
Now, I don’t like running, so instead of “Are squats good for runners,” I just ask myself, “Are squats good?” And I’ve been more than able to answer that question, I think. 😉
If you have any cardio tips I’d love for you to share those in the comments below…