Leg Strength in Endurance Sports

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Leg Strength in Endurance Sports

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Leg Strength in Endurance Sports

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If you’re an endurance athlete who already incorporates strength training in your regular program, kudos to you! If not, you’re missing out. We’ve seen so many endurance athletes add more and more distance and volume in their sport, yet neglect strength training to the detriment of their performance and their bodies. 

Leg strength is particularly important. By adding lower body strength training, you can build the ability to run or bike stronger and longer; you can generate more force; increase power: you can reduce the rate of injury; and you can build stability to absorb force, including strengthening tendons and ligaments. 

In the case of running, speed is largely dependent on the amount of force applied to the ground during each foot strike. Power = strength X speed

You should focus on the big lifts - deadlift, squat, lunge - as well as single-leg exercises and sled work. 

All it takes is two workouts per week and just a few movements per workout that you bring intensity to.

Here’s an example of a quick and effective leg strength workout: 

A. 3 sets -
5 seated box jumps (focus on a good seated position and landing softly on the box) 
Rest as needed 

B. 3 sets -
Each leg :20 isometric hold split squat (hold 90 degrees ) + 5 split squats (can be weighted or no weight)
Rest 1:00 to 2:00 b/t sets

 C. 200-meter sled push (light and fast, no stopping) 

Let’s get strong and build a bigger engine! 

By Wendy Shafranski

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