The Good, Bad, and Ugly About Squats for Female Runners
We’ve all heard people espousing the greatness of the squat. They gets results, it’s something you can do even if you’re traveling, you don’t need any special equipment, etc., etc. Well, I’m here to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly for you regarding the squat.
The Good About Squats
To fall in line with the saying and the movie, we will start with the good.
1. You get to go shopping for new luggage!
Why? Because those old saddlebags you’ve been carrying around are going to shrink! No, seriously, when I’m performing squats regularly, my saddlebags disappear. I don’t know where they go and I don’t care. I just know that my side butt is gone!
2a. You will be the proud owner of some new hardware.
Yes, you might have to dust off the mantle, but it will be totally worth it as you start setting new personal records and collecting local age-group awards. Once I started a regular routine of strength training - including air squats, goblet squats, front squats, back squats, you get the idea - my run times started dropping. I should also mention that my actual weekly mileage also went down at this time. So, by running less and getting stronger, I’ve been able to PR in everything from the 5K to the half marathon. This is always a good reminder to me that everything is connected.
Age group award for the local Melon Run.
2b. You’ll have a different view of the guys - or them of you.
As you’re setting your personal records, you’re going to be passing a lot of guys. They don’t mind getting chicked as much when you’re giving them a nice view.
3. You will experience fewer injuries.
2013 was the year of injury for me. Between an unhappy psoas and peroneal tendinitis, my longest relationship with a man last year was with my physical therapist. Sadly, I’m not joking. And you know what the recurring theme was? Weak glutes! My PT prescribed lots of heavy weighted goblet squats and single-leg deadlifts. I’ve continued those exercises and have remained injury free (knock on wood).
The Bad About Squats
Now, this next section could be difficult to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love working out. I love throwing around heavier and heavier weight. I like hitting a new set of numbers with my back squat. But there are some drawbacks. For example, here is the “bad” you might encounter if you squat.
1. Guys will forget about all of your other incredible attributes.
Got a great sense of humor? Better make the jokes about your ass-ets or he’s not listening. Wicked smart? Better turn the chitchat into the physiology of padunkadunks or you’ve lost him. What can I say? Guys lose focus quickly when you’ve got junk in the trunk.
2. You will never find a pair of pants, especially jeans, that fit.
When you find jeans that are generous enough to accommodate your strong thighs and derriere, I can guarantee you will have a gap in the waistband. I don’t think I’ve bought pants in over three years that my seamstress (aka my mom) didn’t have to alter.
Mind the Gap.
3. Seeing your muscular glutes and quads will make guys dumb.
No, seriously, they will say things like, “If we got stranded somewhere I could eat off your ass for weeks.” Really? Is that supposed to be a turn on? Yeah, not quite the panty dropper they were shooting for.
4. You will have to give up smiling for people to believe you.
The Ugly About Squats
And now the hard part, the ugly side of squats. Honestly, there is no ugly part to squats, unless you’ve got poor form. Of course listen to your trainer, but some things to keep in mind when you’re squatting:
- Keep your knees behind your toes.
- Keep your chest up.
- Have your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Keep your weight in your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes).
- Don’t let your knees fall in when you’re squatting. Press your knees out.
- At the top of your squat stand all the way up to stretch your hip flexors.
- Have fun! There are so many squat variations that you can do something new every day. From air squats to pistol squats, find something that challenges you.
So, the big question is what you gonna do with all that ass? I can tell you what I’m going to do with mine - keep on squatting. The heavier the weight, the better.
Photo 1 courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.