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quad strengthening?

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quad strengthening?

Post  Julie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:57 pm

I have been advised to strengthen my quads now twice by my PT runner friend and wondered what all of you do for quad strengthening. I had an injury last spring she that was due to muscle imbalance and now again my knees, maybe meniscus? is sore and wondering if most runners have muscle imbalances and what you do to correct that. Thanks for any ideas!
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Liz R on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:07 pm

Do you belong to a gym? If yes, learn how to do squats. If not, or if you hate the weight room, try wall sits, like people do to get ready for ski season. You just squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, lower leg at a right angle, and sit there, back against the wall.

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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Julie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:12 pm

I can do wall sits. I don't belong to a gym, no, so it'd have to be something I can do at home. Thanks Liz!
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:23 pm

If you bike at all (even just for fun), find a reasonable grade (4-6%) and do 20-30 second hill sprints up it. I've heard that those are absolutely awesome cross-training for hilly running, which is quad-heavy.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Stephanie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:37 pm

I will do squats, bulgarian split squats, and lunges. I particularly like the bulgarian squats because you do each leg individually so it ensures you are working both legs equally and therefore irons out any imbalances, but I would check with your PT first before doing those.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  JohnP on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:36 pm

Hi Julie, this is what I do: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=15737&PageNum=1



I truly believe in these and think they really strengthen all running muscles (and minimize injury as the article states) - but note that they have to be added gradually, in intensity, quantity and duration. It's something you add to your easy runs several times a week all through the year. Since you are running a marathon pretty soon, I'm not sure what you can do in the short term although you could try the quad exercises or these hill sprints (obviously anything would be with easy resistance to start). You may need to scale back a bit although taper will help too.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Penelope on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:40 pm

I second the wall sits. I can't do squats very well, for some reason even with no weights, my knees always feel it and hurt. If you don't have access to a StairMaster machine, could you bring some comfortable shoes to wear and climb a few flights of stairs every day at work?
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Kevin L on Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:39 pm

One must not overlook the benefits of downhill training. It may decimate your quads if you don't train to run downhill at all.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Julie on Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:44 pm

I run at least small to moderate hills almost every day but haven't ever done hill sprints or a hill-specific work out.

It's funny, but I always thought stairs would be bad for knees probably because my mom can't climb stairs very often due to knee problems (big injury about 30 yrs ago).

I am hesitant to start too much new since I do have a marathon in 4 weeks but since this seems to be a long term problem I have I would like to address it soon so I can keep myself strong.

I do have a bike and could start biking one day/week, too. I haven't done much biking the last few yrs but it wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the ideas!
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:47 pm

I do lunges and kettle squats...plus both uphill and downhill repaeats will help, as well.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  T Miller on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:45 am

Kevin L wrote:One must not overlook the benefits of downhill training. It may decimate your quads if you don't train to run downhill at all.

I agree with Kevin, both uphill and downhill repeats will help alot. P90x has a legs and back routine that is exceptional. Here you can see someone doing the moves on you tube.Legs and back without the back

There is a review here. Legs and back review
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Alex Kubacki on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:04 am

Eric Heiden used to do wall sits and hold it for 15min. Of course he had massive thighs.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:31 pm

One other exercise that I do is use an ankle weight and simulate the quad machine by sitting on the edge of a chair and lifting the leg (with the ankle weight) as single repeats. This has always helped my knees when they bother me. Other than that I do wall sits and squats. I'm a very quad dependent runner with weak hammies.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  ounce on Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:43 pm

All are great suggestions. But Julie, you're right to be hesitant to do something just 4 weeks out. I wouldn't do something new, this close.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Julie on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:23 pm

Thanks All! I will start on some of these maybe a week after the marathon. Right now I'm already thinking about taper but I do see this a long term weakness of mine.
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Re: quad strengthening?

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:29 pm

Julie wrote:Thanks All! I will start on some of these maybe a week after the marathon. Right now I'm already thinking about taper but I do see this a long term weakness of mine.

That sounds like a great idea. You don't want to be changing things this close to race day.
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