In sprinting, the race is usually won or lost in your take off from the blocks. There is so little room for error and a tenth of a second can mean the difference between 1st and 5th place. Increasing your sprint speed out of the blocks definitely make your run faster and will certainly lower your 100m or 200m time. Using these methods to run faster will also significantly improve your overall physique and vertical leap.
Coming out of the starting blocks is about power and speed mixed into one. Body mechanics in synchronicity to explode from stop to go as fast as possible. The explosion aspect starts in the core of your body. Increasing overall core strength will turn an average sprinter to an above average sprinter in itself. The first priority to increase speed out of the blocks is to increase core strength.
Simply doing hundreds of sit ups or crunches is not going to do the trick. Here is a list of 3 core strengthening exercises to incorporate into your training.
-Turkish Get Ups
-8 Count Bodybuilders
If you have the luxury of living in an area with steep hills, use them to your advantage. Steep hill sprinting increases explosiveness and take off power. The elite Wide Receivers in the NFL use steep hill sprinting to increase their speed off of the line of scrimmage.
-Note: Wear cleated shoes when doing steep hill sprinting.
Think of leaving the starting blocks like a car getting ready to take off from the starting line in a quarter mile race. Not always is the "fastest" car going to win the quarter mile sprint. Some cars it takes longer to build up to top speed. A sprinter is the same way. Cars with higher torque bolt from the starting line quicker than a car that needs longer to reach top speed. Increase a sprinters torque and their takeoff speed from the starting blocks goes up. How do we increase the torque of a sprinter though? It's simple. Adapt the sprinter to resistance when sprinting. Then when this resistance is removed come race time the body is trained to think it has to haul extra weight.
A good analogy of a sprinter using resistance training and none at all is a car with NOS(Nitric Oxide) vs one without. The car with NOS will have a decisive advantage. The same goes for a sprinter who uses resistance training.
Here are some resistance training methods that will build up the foundation and increase takeoff torque.
-Wear a running parachute. These parachutes add considerable wind resistance.
-Wearing a standard weigh lifting belt, tie a rope to the weight belt and have a partner try to prevent you from pulling them while you try to run.
-Another option with the weight belt and rope is to sprint with a tire attached to rope.
Incorporate Jump Squats into your training program. Jump Squats greatly improve explosive power by incorporating Core strength with Quads/Hamstring strength.
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