Squats for Runners (Part 4)

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Las Vegas Informer

Perform squats as the focal point of your strength training to become a better runner. Learn proper technique and establish sound training practices by working with a knowledgeable certified fitness trainer. A detailed warm-up and cool down are essential for optimizing results and minimizing injury risk. Sufficient rest and recovery between training sessions is essential to optimize training.

In part one of this article series “Squats for Runners” I wrote about proper squatting technique, squatting safety, stance width, depth, spinal decompression and knee health. In part two, I wrote about different types of squats and the advantages of each type. In the third installment I discussed squatting routines for strength, endurance, heart health and lung power. In this article, the fourth and final segment of “Squats for Runners” I discussed exercise preparation, proper rest and recovery, and warm-up and cool down methods.

Preparation: If you are an absolute beginner or are restarting an exercise program after a long lay-off, I recommend you see a physician for an examination. Work with a certified personal trainer to learn proper technique and formulate a sound training program.

I suggest you educate yourself on health and fitness by asking your doctor and trainer as many questions as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, make a suggestion or provide feedback. Your feedback helps the trainer help you produce heighten results. Educate yourself about health, fitness and nutrition. Use your newly discovered knowledge to boost your training results and improve your running.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Just as a proper warm-up and cool down are important in running, they are also important in weight training, especially squats. The knees, hips and spine need to be prepared for squatting to optimize results and minimize injury risk.

Start with dynamic motions for five minutes to bring blood flow to the working muscles and joints. Next perform several static stretches to lessen muscle tension. Emphasize the spine, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Begin with light weight and gradually increase resistance.

For example, if your heaviest set of anchor squats is thirty repetitions with fifty pounds. Execute twenty repetitions with twenty-five pounds in the first set. Next, use forty pounds for thirty repetitions. Then perform your most intense set. This simple example gradually prepares the muscles, joints, heart and lungs for the intensity of your heaviest set.

A quality cool down is vital to prevent injuries. After squatting spend several minutes performing dynamic motions and static stretches to increase flexibility and decrease muscle tension.

Rest and Recovery: Squats and running are demanding exercises. Both are weight bearing activities that entail a large amount of hip and knee motion.

The body’s muscles and joints require time to recuperate from intense training especially squats. Allow your body sufficient time to recover between workouts.

If running is the main focus in your exercise routine, I recommend you perform squats once a week and run several times a week. Give yourself two full days rest between your squatting day and your most intense running day. This should provide sufficient time for the muscles and joints to recuperate.

The main purpose of squatting for runners is to become a better runner, therefore do not let muscle soreness and fatigue from squatting interfere with your running. Two full days of rest will allow your body time to recover from an intense squat workout. Use active recovery techniques on the off-training days. Active recovery includes Chiropractic care, stretching, foam rolling, massage, good nutrition, rest and sleep.

Conclusion: Running is remarkable exercise. Squatting is a tremendous exercise. Devise an intelligent squatting routine to become a stronger runner. Execute a comprehensive warm-up and cool down during every workout. Provide your body adequate rest time between workouts to decrease injury risk and heighten results. Utilize squats to improve your running and your health. Achieve your health and fitness goals with an intelligent exercise program that includes running and squats.

Dr_Donald_A_Ozello_thumb_medium150_Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic. 8871 W. Flamingo Rd, Suite #202, Las Vegas, NV 89147.  His web address iswww.ChampionshipChiropractic.com. He can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and DrO@ChampionshipChiropractic.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello’s mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the author of the book “Running: Maximize Performance & Minimize Injuries: A Chiropractor’s Guide to Minimizing the Potential for Running Injuries.” He writes a weekly health, fitness and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. He is published in OnFitness MagazineLiveStrong.ComSpineUniverse.com and EHow.com. He has educational health, fitness and nutritional videos on Informer TV, Livestrong.com and YouTube.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC proudly handles Standard Process Supplements and Foot Levelers Orthotics.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to numerous groups on the importance of health, fitness, exercise, ergonomics, nutrition and injury prevention.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is a fitness enthusiast. Functional kettlebell training, running and bike riding are his favorite types of exercise.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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