The story around squats is confusing. Some say “squat every day” while others warn “squats are bad for your knees!” The truth is in the middle—squats are amazing for building lower body strength, but at the same time they can cause problems for the uninitiated. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the barbell back squat, and why it’s worth your attention.
Body weight squats are can be effective. We do them regularly in my boot camp class at the gym and after a couple of sets, you can definitely feel them. As always make sure your form is good (keep your weight on your heels…you should be able to wiggle your toes, keep your chest up, back straight, make sure your knees don’t go in front of your toes, etc).
You can change exactly what muscles are used by changing your leg and foot position (narrow or wide squats, plie squats with your feet wider apart and your toes turned out, etc). Putting your hands on your head (prisoner squats) can ramp up the difficulty a bit more. If you want to improve your power (and have good knees) you can do jump squats.
It makes sense that a sport that’s been around since the beginning of humanity would develop a healthy mythology. But if you believe in these five myths, your running will suffer. Your running enlightenment starts now.
Trails have the advantage of an uneven surface (although they come with their own risk), but not all soft surfaces are uneven. More importantly, people who have been avoiding pavement thinking there’s a problem with it can now run wherever they like.
This bears repeating: Curious to find out the grade? GoogleMaps provides elevation information if you view a route as a cyclist, but I’m told this functionality isn’t supported everywhere …and it doesn’t tell you the grade. MapMyRide however has provided this information for a long time, and will provide grade with an elevation histogram. I think Garmin Connect provided similar details…
Some trainers allow you to tweak resistance – Tacx is one such brand. So you can get more of a workout than just moving between the gears.
So you’d like to take up running, but you live on a mountain. Or maybe you already jog in a nice flat place, but want to tackle some trails or a hilly race. Here’s how to train your mind and your legs to power up even the steepest slopes.
Curious to find out the grade? GoogleMaps provides elevation information if you view a route as a cyclist, but I’m told this functionality isn’t supported everywhere …and it doesn’t tell you the grade. MapMyRide however has provided this information for a long time, and will provide grade with an elevation histogram. I think Garmin Connect provided similar details…
Careful with the stair training. If you are on the short or very tall end of the height spectrum (or the building is old enough to have strange stair heights) you might find that your knees start to hurt. Also, your hips won’t be thanking you if you run down too many stone or concrete steps.
For the hill-less people: Bridges might not have a path for walkers and it is not the same as a hill, but if you have one that does have a safe area for pedestrians, it can add variety to the otherwise flat running routes. Similarly, on-ramps and parking garage ramps. Whatever you do, be careful and courteous to traffic.