The act of sprinting is considered a short distance run at top speed from one point to another. To be the most successful at sprinting, the entire run, from the blocks to the finish line, should consist of explosive speed and power. Such explosive energy will keep your feet on the ground for a minimal time and your momentum barreling forward.
Principles of Plyometric Exercises
Exercises to increase speed will assist with improving your sprinting time. This article will cover plyometric exercises that develop explosive muscle response causing you to run faster. Plyometrics work because they condition the brain and muscles to respond more rapidly to neurological impulses. The muscles which a certain plyometric exercise target are continually loaded, contracted, and stretched, giving them a spring-like ability. When first utilizing plyometric exercises, begin by performing them twice a week with fewer repetitions and sets. The goal is to progressively build the quantity of your reps and sets as well as the number of times executed per week. Because you are using exploding repetitions, each contact with the ground is considered a “contact”. When starting out, you should attempt to make between 80 and 100 contacts for the entire exercise (all sets; for example: 4 sets of 25 reps). Then gradually work your way up to around 120-140 contacts per exercise.
Exercises to Increase Sprinting Time
Begin by assuming a lunge position with one leg back, one leg forward and your arms held at your sides. Bend your legs and arms as you lower into a squat and then explode straight upwards. Land with the legs in the opposite positions and immediately leap again.
Stand facing a sturdy box or platform that is about knee high. Jump up and onto the box and then immediately back to the starting position and repeat. You can add versatility by completing one-leg box jumps whereby you jump up onto the box with one leg, back down and then switch legs.
Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Drop down into a squat position and explode straight upwards. Raise your arms over your head, pointing your hands to the ceiling and keep your legs outstretched and held together as you leap. Immediately go back into a squat with your arms down at your sides when you land and leap skyward again.
Start in the same position as the rocket leaps, squatted down with your arms at your sides. Explode upward as high as you can and tuck your knees into your chest and stretch your arms straight out to the sides. Quickly unfold your legs, land back in a squat position with your arms at your sides and leap again.
Try to perform this sprint exercise on a track or, at least, a long flat surface. Bounds are like running only you are exaggerating your movements in order to stride farther with each step. Take off running and bound as far forward as you can while swinging your arms to give you extra propulsion. Bound for a distance of around 30 meters, walk back to the starting point and then complete another set.