By Mike Caza, Owner
PSC Fitness & Performance

1. Push the Ground
Sprinting faster is all about applying force quickly through the ground.  If you push against the ground, this initiates forward movement.  If you stand and pick your knee up, you haven’t moved forward.  If you stand and push one leg back against the ground, you moved forward.  Case in point, develop the athlete’s body to apply force quickly through the ground.  This requires proper speed, strength, power, core and mobility training since these components all influence how effectively the athlete can push back against the ground.

 

2. Stretch the Hip Flexors and Glutes
When one muscle contracts, the opposite muscle has to relax to enable the movement to happen.  In sprinting, the hip flexors assist in lifting the length up after push off and the gluteus muscles need to relax during this movement. If an athlete has tight hip flexors, this will causes the opposing muscles (gluteus muscles) to contract instead of relax to compensate for the shortened, inflexible muscle, thereby causing both muscle groups to contract at the same time (co-contraction) which causes slower sprinting speeds which can eventually lead to injury.

 

3. Swing the Legs Vertically
If your legs swing upward when sprinting, this initiates a cyclic foot action which enables the foot to land under the hip before pushing off again.  Many athletes sprint with low swings legs causing them to over stride or heel strike which is a braking force and can lead to injury.  In order to fix this, athletes need to get learn “how to” sprint properly, get stronger and increase power and core strength.  All of these training components influence sprinting speed.  One cue we use in our speed sessions is to sprint over the high grass.