Sprinter Workout for Explosive Acceleration

March 8, 2013 | Corbin Lang

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Top sprinting speed might be flashier, but it's your start that sets you up for success during a race. To improve this critical component of a race, you must develop your explosive lower-body power.

After exploding from a standstill off the blocks, you begin to accelerate by triple extending your hips, knees and ankles to drive into the ground. To increase the amount of force you can put into the ground with each stride, you must focus on glute, quad and calf power development.

In addition, your hamstrings play a critical role when you accelerate. They improve your knee drive and help control your foot so you don't overstride, which will slow you down.

If you need to improve your start, try this three-exercise sprinter workout. It will increase your lower-body power so you can explosively accelerate out of the blocks.

Sprinter Acceleration Workout

Do this dynamic warm-up to physically and mentally prepare your body for the workout.

Review this sprinting form checklist to remind yourself of proper technique.

Short Hill Sprints

  • Pick a hill with an incline of between 30 and 45 degrees
  • Start in a two-, three- or four-point stance
  • Sprint up the hill focusing on driving your legs down and back and driving your arms through a full range of motion
  • Walk down and rest for 1 minute before the next sprint

Sets/Distance: 6-10x20 yards

Sled Drives

  • Attach a sled harness to your waist
  • Assume start position with your body at approximately a 45-degree angle
  • Drive off your rear leg to begin the sprint, and maintain a 45-degree angle
  • Keep your heels low to the ground
  • Continue sprinting with a powerful arm and leg drive for the specified distance
  • Rest for 1 minute before the next sprint

Sets/Distance: 6-10x20 yards

Flat Sprints

  • Stand tall and perform a Falling Start
  • Continue sprinting with powerful arm and leg drive for the specified distance
  • Keep your heels low to the ground
  • Walk back and rest for 1 minute before the next sprint

Sets/Distance: 6-10x20 yards

Corbin Lang
- Corbin Lang is the head track and field coach and a math teacher at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. He is a certified Level 2...
Corbin Lang
- Corbin Lang is the head track and field coach and a math teacher at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. He is a certified Level 2...
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