5 Tips To Sprinting Faster
Sprinting — some love the word and some hate it. While we can’t all be the next Usain Bolt or Flo-Jo, sprinting provides a variety of surprising benefits once implemented into your workout plan.
Why is sprinting good for you?
Sprinting, a high-intensity workout, increases the rate of metabolism.
This leads to ultimate fat loss because you will continue to burn calories hours after your workout is finished. Sprinting burns fat, increases muscle building, and contributes to an overall lean physique.
Sprinting tones your abdominal muscles quickly and effectively.
Have you ever noticed the killer six-packs that most Olympic runners have? A good core can be built through sprinting. Because sprinting increases your rate of metabolism, this burns that extra layer of fat and tones the abdominal muscles underneath. Abs can be worked 57 to 60 times every 100 meters, which means the more power and control you put forth, the more toned your core can become.
Sprint interval training improves aerobic conditioning in less time than regular running.
When you do sprint intervals from 6 to 60 seconds, the same benefits are similar to other cardio exercises; however, they are achieved much faster. This increases endurance, which then enables you to have tougher and longer workouts.
Sprinting can boost your mood and improve your brain function.
Everyone knows the benefits that any type of exercise can bring, but because sprinting is high intensity, higher levels of lactic acid are created, which means more endorphins that are being released in your body. Endorphins equal happier and feel-good moods.
Furthermore, studies have shown that compared with lower-intensity running, sprints were associated with better short-term learning success and retention of learned material.
How do I start sprinting?
Sprints are great because they can be utilized outside or inside on a treadmill. Don’t be intimidated to incorporate sprints into your workout; however, it is important to work up your ability and not over-extend yourself.
Here are 5 tips to getting faster at sprinting:
Warming up is essential before you start sprinting because your muscles need to be prepared for the short burst of power. Walk or run for 10+ minutes while incorporating high-knees and butt kickers to really engage all your leg muscles.
Run with a circular motion and land on your forefoot to propel you forward.
Rather than reaching your legs out to get more distance, move your legs in a circular motion with shorter strides. Landing on your forefoot will help to prevent shin splints as well as other injuries.
Use your arms.
Driving your elbows backwards and keeping your arms at a 90-degree position helps to create momentum. The movement should be wider than a normal jog with a fluid action with your hands going as high as your chin and reaching back behind your butt.
Start with doing sprints once or twice a week.
As a beginner, start out with doing approximately five sprints total from 15-60 seconds with a one to four minute recovery period — keep in mind the shorter your sprint time, the shorter your recovery time. Keep moving in between sprints so your muscles don’t become cold. A sprint workout should not be more than 15-20 minutes total, including recovery times.
Cool down and stretch.
After your sprints, cool down by lightly jogging or walking. It is important to stretch to avoid tightness and sore muscles as well — using a foam roller can also be beneficial post-workout.
Author: Taylor Roeling, Utah State University