The #1 Strength Exercise Every Runner Should Do

Some runners are disappointed when they learn that they need to do more than just run in order to improve their running. Yep, you read that right. Adding regular strength training may be more beneficial than racking up more mileage. It may sound counterintuitive, but fear not! Coach Nate has the number one strength training exercise to take your running to the next level.

Because running requires strength and hip and ankle stability, the number one strength exercise exaggerates these requirements while balancing on one leg. Enter the shrimp squat. Perform this exercise 1-2 times per week as part of your strength routine to run strong from start to finish.

To prepare yourself for the full shrimp squat, first try lowering yourself into a reverse lunge position. Your toe should hit the ground, followed by your knee. That’s level one.

Once you’ve mastered this, you can try to perform a reverse lunge with your toe and knee hitting the ground at the same time. In this exercise, you’ll have to squat deeper before your knee and toe hit. It’s this greater range of motion that makes this so challenging. That’s level two.

The full shrimp squat is when your knee hits the ground before your toe. Move slowly and deliberately, especially as your knee gets closer to the ground. It’s ok if you can’t do the full movement in the first go, so stick with the level that challenges you but still allows you to complete 3-5 reps per side for 3 to 5 sets.

When performing the shrimp squat, make sure your hips are level by maintaining a gap between your knees. This will help with balance and stability. Don’t forget to stretch after each workout so your muscles can properly recover.

With a few sessions of practice you’ll be feeling more confident, your range of motion will improve, your hips and ankles will be that much more stable, and your glutes, hamstrings and quads will be firing on all cylinders.

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