5 Ways to Increase Maximum Speed in Sprints

5 min read

5 Ways to Increase Maximum Speed in Sprints

Calling all the Freak Athletiq sprinters out there who want to master their sprinting technique and out-run their opponent on the field.

We have something just for you..

Whether you play a sport, do athletics, or if you would like to learn more about sprinting, then this is for you. 

Whether you are an experienced sprinter or a beginner, this is still for you.

Reading this, you will learn 5 ways to increase maximum speed in sprinting.

Though, there’s no use just reading this and not putting the time and effort into taking action and implementing what you learned. Remember consistency is key, in a matter of no time you will master these 5 exercises and start improving your sprinting ability.

Okay let’s get straight into it..

1) Wall Drives

Wall drives are an excellent drill to develop the correct posture and leg action for acceleration.

The athlete needs to be standing in front of a wall. Extend your arms out in front of you so your palms can touch the wall. You want to be leaning into the wall, so you may want to take a few steps back at this point.

*As shown in the image
Wall Drives

Bring one leg up to hip height then you want to drive the foot down towards the ground again, as your toes make contact with the ground, quickly pull the second leg up and repeat the movement.

Include this drill as a 10min warm-up to learn the proper mechanics.

*Bonus tip- count how many wall drives you complete in a set period of time and try to beat that number each time. Remember to maintain proper form throughout.  

2) Heavy Sled Pushes
Another way to practice efficient acceleration at the beginning of a sprint is to perform Heavy Sled Pushes for 10 to 15 yards/ 9-15 meters. The weight on the sled should be as close to your Squat weight as you can.

The key here is to use long strides and push the weight as explosively as possible.

*As shown in the image
Heavy sled push

*Bonus tip- time yourself performing the Sled Pushes. Focus on your technique first. Once you master proper technique than you can aim to beat your previous time. 

*Bonus tip- after conducting the Sled Pushes, perform your wall drives again. It will help considerably improve your acceleration and power when sprinting.

3) Improve Stride Length
Many runners make the mistake of taking lots of short, choppy steps when they try to run fast. A better option is to take longer strides, and make them as powerful as possible.

To practice efficient stride length you will need medium size hurdles, 5- 8 hurdles are recommended.

The movement involves hopping over the hurdles. The focus is on posture, flat foot landing and proper yielding at the waist, knees and ankle during propulsion and landing.

The hurdle hops will force you to get that knee drive and increase your Stride Length.

*As shown in the image

*Bonus tip- to make this harder, try single leg hurdle hops then alternate legs each set.

4) Lift For Speed

The gym isn't just for building better bodies; it builds faster bodies as well.

Combining resistance training has been shown to improve speed.

Here are some exercises to focus on:

1st exercise- Hip Thrusts

Begin seated on the ground with a bench directly behind you. Have a loaded barbell over your legs at the hips. (Using a fat bar or having a pad on the bar can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise.)

Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lean back against the bench so that your scapula is near the top of it.

Begin the movement by driving through your feet, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your scapula and your feet.

Extend as far as possible and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

*As shown in the image
Hip Thrust

2nd exercise- Squats

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with toes turned out at a slight angle.

Lower yourself by reaching back with your butt while maintaining a strong, straight lower back. Keep your knees aligned with your toes and your feet planted on the ground.

Keep your chest up, back and core tight, eyes looking forward and with your head in a neutral position.

Go just below parallel, so that your buttock drops below your knees. Come back up by pushing through your heels.

*As shown in the image

3rd exercise- Deadlifts

Grip the bar with hands in a pronated position (hands in the overhand position) and slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Feet shoulder width apart with the bar positioned over the mid part of the foot.

Squat down; keeping your back straight and chest up, head facing forward and your arms in-line over the bar.

Keep arms straight, scapular retracted, and brace to stabilise trunk.

Start the lift by pushing through the floor with the legs and letting your hips and knees rise at the same rate, keeping the bar close to your shins. –Back straight throughout movement; do not round your back.

When the bar clears the knees, continue to extend the legs and hips until body is fully upright.

Lower the bar under control keeping the bar close to the body until the plates touch the ground.

*As shown in the image
*Bonus tip- all 3 exercises should be performed for 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps per set (not including warmup sets). After each set you should increase the weight.

5) Improve core strength

Your abdominals consist of the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis. While you sprint, all of these muscles contract forcefully to help generate power.

When you sprint, your arms and legs are pumping as fast as they can, and you’re continuously transferring your weight from side to side. This is incredibly taxing on the core; the result is activation of the entire trunk, as well as the stabilizing muscles of your spine.

Here are a few exercises to help with improving core strength:

1st exercise- Sit-ups

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. If you have a mat, use it.

Extend your arms and place your palms on your thighs or you can cross them at your chest.

Exhale and pull your belly button in toward your spine as you gently raise your torso by contracting, bending at your hips and waist as you rise.

*As shown in the image

2nd exercise- The Plank

Get in the push up position, except put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Toes touching the ground.

Keep your abdominals tightened and engaged.

Keep a neutral neck and spine. Try not to round your back.

Create a straight, strong line from head to toes (hence why it’s called ‘The Plank’).

*As shown in the image
The Plank

Hold that position and time yourself. You should try to beat your time progressively.

Okay, and there you have it..

The 5 ways to increase maximum speed in your sprints.

We covered Wall Drives, a great warm up routine to master you’re starting position of your sprint.

Sled drags, to help with acceleration of your starting position of your sprint.

Stride length, to cover more distance and use all the working muscles efficiently in your legs.

Lifting for speed, and to help increase strength and power.

And lucky last; Core Strength, to activate the entire trunk, as well as the stabilizing muscles of your spine.

By practicing the techniques mentioned on a consistent basis you will master your sprints and out run your component on the field.

Good luck, Freak Athletes.

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