Usain Bolt's Key to Explosive Starts

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Usain Bolt, World Record holder in the 100m and 200m, knows that neither feat would have been possible if he had not spent countless hours perfecting his start technique. "That's where it all begins," he says. "If you don't get a good start, it's a lot tougher to relax and run your own race from that point on."

Sprinters of shorter stature can more readily cycle their legs to get up to speed. At 6'5", Usain is at a disadvantage getting out of the blocks. Early in his career, he relied on superior top-end speed and longer strides to run past guys who beat him off the line. But Usain targeted his disadvantage and eventually turned it into a weapon. He now runs a perfect, almost unbeatable race from start to finish.

To improve his quickness out of the blocks, Usain incorporated explosive starts into his on-track training. Use this drill together with Usain's race-day coaching points to attack the first 20 yards of your next race.

Explosive Starts

  • Assume sprinting stance on track
  • Adhering to proper technique, explode out of stance and accelerate for 20 yards

Reps/Rest: 6-8 with full recovery

Usain: Focus on driving forward, keep a straight back, drive from the hips, get full extension and put some arms into it. Don't focus on the guy next to you. [He might] be very quick out of the blocks, which can make you lose [concentration]. Stay focused on what you're going to do and run your race at all times.

Check out Usain's entire workout here.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: TRACK & FIELD | WORKOUTS | RECOVERY | DRILL | TRACK | STANCE