In this article I want to share with you my go-to exercises which I’ve utilised to improve my sprinting performance over the years. In this 2 part series I will cover my top 5 resistance training exercises in part 1 and my top 5 plyometric exercises in part 2.
As a professional sprinter for 13 years having competed at the Stawell Gift & Bay Sheffield and presently coached from world-renowned Strength & Conditioning Coach Dieter Roylance I’ve learnt a thing or two on how to maximise performance.
So Here Are My Top 5 Resistance Exercises
#1 – Front Squats
The Front Squat is the single most important squat variation for athletes. This variation allows the trainee to maintain an upright torso, which allows for an increased ROM. This additional ROM has a positive effect on strengthening the VMO, which strengthens and stabilises the knee, which is vital for sprinting. The Front Squat I add into my routine in my A Series, which is the beginning of the training program. This is also a pre requisite for the Hang Clean.
#2 – Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift
The Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift is a bang for buck variation that allows the trainee to work over a longer ROM targeting the posterior chain. The stronger your posterior chain the faster you’ll be. The snatch grip variation being a wide also allows us to train the back in an isometric fashion, which will allow the trainee to maintain an upright and stable posture.
#3 – Hang Cleans
The Hang Clean is a progression from the Front Squat. What I like about the Hang Clean is the ability to improve starting speed, which is vital for improving your performance. This allows us to transfer our strength from the Squat & Deadlift variations into speed and power.
#4 – Split Squats
The Split Squat variations are a go to as in my programs because they assist & compliment your Squat, Deadlifts & Olympic lift variations. As a sprinter it is important to incorporate unilateral movements to improve performance and minimise risk of injury. Having structural balance as an athlete is a priority at all times. The first introduction to the Split Squat I recommend you introduce is the low pulley variation. This particular variation assists in pulling you deep into the movement & it helps balance out your hips, glutes, lower back and core due to the anti rotation element to it. Progress this to dumbbells and 1-2 second isometric pauses in the bottom, which will have your legs on fire.
#5 – Sled Push
The Sled Push or Sprint is a low risk high reward exercise that I incorporate into the end of the training sessions. It’s a good opportunity to transfer sprinting technique into the resistance program, which I’ve found to have high carryover. This I’ve found to help improve starting speed. Alternate between heavy and light sprints.
Whether you run for competition or for fun getting stronger and improving your structural balance will give you the biggest return.
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