A Key Strength Exercise for Triathletes

Q: Are front squats a good idea?

A: Squats are one of the best exercises for all athletes and endurance sports athletes. They enhance your glutes, quads, adductors and back strength. Try two sets of 8 to 12 reps, 2 to 3 times each week.

Keep in mind that you should have great dorsi flexion, achilles tendon and soleus flexibility before doing squats. The reason is that if you are tight in the lower leg, the weight will fall forward as you lower into the squat and put stress on your low back.

Try this: See if you can squat 1 to 2 inches off the ground with your feet just outside shoulder width without raising your heels.

Then start with a weight-behind-the-neck seated squat, touching a bench with your butt in the lowering phase. This one is easy and loads the glutes, quads and abductors.

For a more complex lift, move on to the tradition front squat.

Remember, when performing the exercise keep your head (neck) in a neutral position, feet just outside shoulder width and back straight.

Be sure to hinge at your hips when you lower the weight. Squeeze your elbows into your ribs with a grip width of 8 to 12 inches.

More: How to Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Regimen

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