It's not enough to simply be fast. The runner who consistently places at each meet is the one who has prepared as if each practice was a championship event. Whether the priority is to gain an edge for that final sprint of the distance race, improve explosiveness out of the start gate or simply to increase overall fitness, specific exercises can help you achieve your goals.
Weight throw exercises increase explosiveness from the starting blocks. Start with the forward weight throw. Squat with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a shot put ball between your legs with both hands. In one quick movement, jump up and forward, fully extending your body and arms and releasing the ball in a forward arc.
Use the same stance for overhead weight throws. This time, however, extend the arms and body while jumping slightly backward. The goal in both of these exercises to hurl the ball as far as possible. Be careful that the ball is actually thrown away from your body. Focus on form and not the number of repetitions.
Skip to increase focus on appropriate form and as a power drill that has few negative impacts than running. Start by skipping for height. Begin skipping with the torso erect. Skip as high as possible and pump your arms with each step. Skip for 50 yards, walk back and repeat.
Skip for distance next. Pump your arms with each skip, and attempt to move as far forward as possible. Focus on engaging all the muscles of the thighs and calf. Skip for 50 yards, walk back and repeat the exercise. Repetitions will vary depending on strength, but consider your form rather than the number of repetitions completed.
Lunge jumps increase muscle mass and power. Start in a lunge position and leap into the air as fast as possible. While up, switch the lunge position so the opposite leg is forward. Aim to increase the height of each jump while maintaining perfect balance on the landing. Immediately repeat the process. Use your arms to help propel your body upward. Continue the exercise until your form begins to falter.
Article Written By Mike Biscoe
Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of
Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.