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If you increase your leg strength, stride length and power, you will run faster. There is one exercise that guarantees you improving your running speed and that is the squat. There are variations (such as the back squat and single leg squat), however, in this post we will be focusing on the deep front squat.
The front squat is a great exercise that will help to lengthen, as well as stretch your leg muscles while you are doing the movement. All of these components will help you increase your running speed, so you will run faster in your event or in your chosen sport.
Before you start the front squat movement with heavy weights, you should focus on perfecting your form. Here is a great video demonstration that you can use to perform the movement.
Note – The person doing the demonstration in the video is using weightlifting shoes, which is helping him maintain a strict lifting form.
What things should you keep in mind when you are doing deep front squats?
- Focus on keeping your elbows up throughout the entire movement.
- Your body should go straight up and down when doing the exercise.
- Widen your hips as you get into the deep squat position.
- Power through your heels/glutes
Because you are doing this for sprinting, you should focus on doing explosive repetitions of 10 for at least 3 sets. The key is to execute the movement with resistance weight that can be done at speed.
What benefits can you expect to gain by doing deep front squats?
By executing the front squat successfully, you will notice improvements in the following areas.
Your core stability.
You will become stronger in your abdominals and your obliques. It will also help you improve your stablising muscles.
Your lower abdominal strength.
Your lower abdominals will increase in strength, which will allow you to keep your hips forward when running. This will also make you strike the ground underneath you when running, rather than in front of you if your abdominal strength is weak.
Your hip flexors.
You will gain more strength and stability in your hip flexors.
Your leg muscle control.
You won’t realise how much your stablising muscles in your leg affect your performance until you improve the strength from the deep front squats that you will be doing. You will notice that it will affect your range of motion, from your glutes to your hips, knees and ankles.
Increased power execution.
You can expect to increase your power execution through your hip extenders and your glutes so that you can run faster along the ground.
Should you get weightlifting shoes?
They aren’t absolutely necessary, however you will notice the difference if you want to get more serious with your front squat exercises. The shoes will prevent your posture or balance being shifted due to the stability the shoes provide. This will allow you to just focus on the technical execution of the lift.
The shoes are great for other power lifting exercises as well, such as back squats, deadlifts and power cleans.
One of the most popular shoes is the Adidas Powerlift 3.1s.
Do you currently use deep front squats in your speed development training? Let us know in the comments below.