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Why and how runners should squat

A strong lower body powers your stride and wards off injury. Incorporating resistance moves like squats into your strength-training routine is an essential—and easy—way to round out your training.

Squats are a functional exercise that benefit your joint and muscle health, as well as your posture—all of which are important for improving your running form and speed.

But there are a few things about how to do a squat you need to know before quickly banging out reps on your next strength-training day.

Sacrificing form can lead to injury and will make the move ineffective. Common mistakes I see are:

  • heels lifting off the ground, shifting the weight onto the toes

  • not going deep enough, stopping with knees at 90 degrees (admittedly this isn't possible for everyone)

  • allowing the chest to fall forward

  • curving the upper body and spine, creating a rounded back

  • losing the neutral spine position in the lower back (less frequently)