For Kate Grace, fitness runs in the family. Her mother, Kathy Smith, was an aerobics icon in the 1980s. Decades later, Grace made the 2016 U.S. Olympic track team by winning the 800 meters at the U.S. trials. In Rio, she finished eighth.
While last week's world championships didn't go as Grace hoped -- she failed to make the final in the 1,500 meters -- she is committed to forging ahead so that one day she can look back at that moment as an obstacle to overcome. The best way to accomplish that: grit and hard work.
When she wants a tough workout, she'll add hills and speed intervals to her 60-70 mile-a-week running program. But when she's in the gym, one of her go-to moves is the single leg squat. It has two great advantages, she says: It's easy to see progress, and it doesn't require any equipment, so it's ideal for someone like herself who spends six months on the road.
The move: Single leg squats
How to do it: Balance on one leg and squat on that leg. When you come up, squeeze your glutes and keep your knee in line with your big toe. Do 6-8 each side. Repeat three times.
When I do it: One day a week, as part of my two weekly strength workouts.
Why I do it: It's a great way to build strength for running. Running is just an accumulation of single leg squats; you're always on one leg. And it's important that both legs are strong -- no imbalances. With this exercise, if you have a physical imbalance, you'll see it immediately.
Why it's so killer: It's tough to keep good form. I quickly start to break down, and when that happens, it's hard to keep your knee steady and stabilize yourself.