When studying the main components of how to sprint faster, we conclude that it comes down to 2 main movements, hip extension and hip flexion. Let’s dive into these 2 movements that will surely help you improve you to sprinting faster.
Now of course there’s many components to running such as having no muscle imbalances, a correct arm pump, minimal contact time, etc. but for the majority increase the main 2 movements will allow athletes and average joes to running fast, quick!
Hip extension– is the part of the running cycle when the leg makes contact with the ground and utilizes the gluteal and hamstring muscles to extend the hip and allow the body to propel forward. Two things to focus on here is to make sure the glutes and hamstrings are extremely strong in order to produce power to move forward and the next is to make sure the hip flexors are flexible enough so that the hip can extend fully back.
The best way to train hip extension is to strength train the posterior chain through squats, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, and hamstring curls. After this you can then move into plyometrics where you are training the speed aspect of these movements, remember Speed x Strength = Power
Hip flexion – is the part of the running cycle when the leg finishes fully extending and then proceeds to raise the knee forward as quickly as possible. The main muscles being used when raising the knee is the iliopsoas, which we commonly coin the hip flexors. It has been shown that many top elite sprinters have a larger cross-sectional area of the hip flexors compared to most average population. This means that a trained explosive iliopsoas correlates highly with a faster sprinter.
The best way to train these 3 muscles is to first make sure they are all activating properly by simply standing against a wall and raising the knee to a 90 degree angle and holding for 30 seconds and then alternating until the sprinter can build up to about a minute for each leg. Next, when training to fire it as fast as possible box jumps will do the trick. As the athlete leaps up to jump on the box they need to pull the knees up as fast as possible by flexing the hip in order to land on the box. The best way to do this is to build up properly week by week.
When learning how to sprint faster you can now break down and properly train the two main components involved in the running cycle. Apply these movements today and you will be sure to start sprinting faster immediately.