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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Sprint into sublime shape

The exhilarating feeling of moving seamlessly at full tilt is simply thrilling, there isn’t much else quite like it.

Evocative of junior sport and school athletics carnivals for most, I have so many clients who don’t realise it’s something we’re all still very capable of.

It’s about as functional an activity as you will come across, which is why it’s so rewarding to practise and hone your sprinting. In most sports, the better you sprint, the better you are.

Training is made easier by the fact it’s also something we all enjoy. Going fast is fun and there are a number of added benefits.

Numerous studies have shown sprinting’s effectiveness in reducing body fat and decreasing waist and hip circumference (for reference: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327385), which will help you look great as the weather warms up. It can also be far more time efficient than going for a long, steady-paced run.

If you’re new to sprinting or returning after a long hiatus, it’s best to ease back into it. Only a couple of 20-30 minute sessions a week is a great way to stay fit.

From there you can build up your training time or intensity.

Sprinting is an explosive action that requires raw power, but having said that, nailing your form will put your strides ahead of the competition.

Some key components of sprinting technique to focus on is your start, the explosive action out of the blocks; how to maintain your top speed; and work on developing a ‘kick’ – that little burst of extra pace to blow the opposition away.

Working with a running coach is a great idea regardless of what level you’re at, as they can get you running smoothly, taking full advantage of your natural running action. They can help specifically with managing how your foot hits the ground; leg and arm drive; breathing; and posture, which involves standing up correctly through the action.

Sprinting workout

5-minute warm-up on spin bike

Single leg hops over 20m on both legs x 5

Frog leaps (squatting down and leaping forward) over 20m x 5

10m strides—short bursts of quick running at 60-70% intensity x 5

20 explosive squat jumps

10m starts – explode out from your starting position at 70-80% intensity x 5

20m sprints x 5

Sprinting at 90% intensity for 5-10 seconds x 5

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