5 Elements of Usain Bolt's Training That Can Help You Get Faster

STACK Expert Ben Boudro prescribes 5 exercises you can do right now that will tremendously improve your speed and help you run faster.

After watching Usain Bolt win his third straight gold medal in the 100 meters, I woke up the next morning wanting to sprint and see how fast I am.

You know what I'm talking about?

It doesn't matter if you're in your prime or you're a retired athlete playing in a flag football beer league. Being the fastest person anywhere is one cool feeling. Everybody wants to be fast!

RELATED: 5 Common Speed Training Mistakes That Will Cost You

But does being fast depend only on your genetics? Aren't some people just born fast?


Believe it or not, speed is a learned skill. Olympic athletes like Bolt train for endless hours on the track, working hard to protect their form. I emphasize their because everybody has different optimal ranges of motion when it comes to their running form. But that's another story.

Before nailing down your running form, you need strength and power to be fast.

Here are 5 exercises you can do right now that will tremendously improve your speed and help you run faster.

1. Weighted RFE Jumps

How you do it:

  • Set up a bench, plyo box or anything comfortable enough to put your foot on.
  • Grab 2 dumbbells (go light to start.)
  • Place one foot on the bench behind you and stand with your other foot facing straight.
  • Keeping your back knee right over your foot, slowly bend and lower it to the ground.
  • Explode up, driving your foot into the ground as fast as you can.
  • Land softly and repeat.
  • Keep your chest up the entire time.

What it works:

  • Type II muscle fibers, explosiveness, glutes, quads and calves
  • Great for developing the ability to drive a force into the ground at a fast rate!

How many Sets/Reps?

  • 3X5 each leg (rest at least 1:30 between sets)

RELATED: The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes

2. Band-Resisted Knee Drive

How you do it:

  • Set a resistance band around anything solid that won't move.
  • Assume a push-up position and place the band around the top of one foot.
  • Staying stable in perfect push-up position, drive your knee to your chest and hold for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat. Perform with both legs.

What it works:

  • Hip flexors, rectus abdominus (abs) and glutes
  • Great for the entire body, but for sprinters, it really teaches the knee drive.

How many Sets/Reps?

  • 3X10 each leg (rest 1:30 between sets)

3. Power Lunge

How you do it:

  • Start with 2 dumbbells, one in each hand (light ones).
  • Perform a Reverse Lunge.
  • Rapidly drive your back foot forward while simultaneously cleaning both dumbbellsq
  • Land in good position in a Front Lunge.

What it works:

  • Glutes, quads, arms, calves
  • Really good for developing fast-twitch muscles and knee drive for sprinters.

How many Sets/Reps?

3X6 each leg (rest 2 minutes between sets)

RELATED: How to Warm Up for Speed Training

4. Push-Up to Sprint

How you do it:

  • Start in a flat push-up position (head up, elbows tucked.)
  • On "go," push up to your feet as fast as possible.
  • Sprint as fast as you can for 20 yards.

What it works:

  • Explosiveness and first-step quickness
  • Perfect for teaching you to always step forward and not backwards when sprinting.

How many Reps?

3X20 yards (rest 1:00 between)

5. Glute/Ham Weighted Sit-Ups

How you do it:

  • You need a partner to hand you the weight.
  • Get a barbell or EZ curl bar and add some weight (start light.)
  • Carefully put your feet in the racks with your chest up toward the ceiling.
  • Keeping your core as tight as possible perform a sit-up holding the bar on your chest like a Bench Press.
  • Sit up fast and simultaneously press the bar over your head.
  • Repeat.

What it works:

  • Hip flexors, abs, quads and shoulders
  • This one is pretty intense. Your entire anterior side (front) of your body has to contract to move the bar and press it overhead. It's great for runners, because it really hits the hip flexors, which help pick up the knees and strengthen the core, which we all know sprinters need.

How many Sets/Reps?

2X10 (rest 1:30 between sets)

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock