A lot of athletes waste a lot of energy and movement when they sprint. This negatively affects their speed by ruining their efficiency.
The goal of sprinting is to run as fast as possible for a certain distance. Being as efficient as possible is going to make for the most speed.
We want to reduce the amount of energy lost during a sprint.
Too often, this energy lost is due to a lack of core stability.
People in general need more core stability. One main point to remember from here on out is that core stability is the resistance of movement through the torso. Core stability is not doing hundreds of situps or having a 6 pack.
Athletes that can improve their core stability will be able to run faster due to better mechanics that allow less energy to be lost and more power to be produced.
Having a stable core will allow a lot of force to be produced into the ground.
The torso can move into flexion, rotation, lateral flexion, and extension. Anytime the core moves into these positions mobility and force production are reduced.
The best way to run fast is to have a good brace when sprinting. A good way to think about this is to lock the rib cage down to the pelvis and hold it there.
Once that is mastered the main goal is to avoid rotating or leaning when running.
The following exercises are designed to help athletes build the stability to sprint fast.
So I am definitely cheating a little bit on this one but this is my blog so I can do what I want.
Trunk flexion is not something we want when running. We also do not want it when we lift. Being able to deadlift with good technique is a good display of anti flexion through the core.
Deadlift with good technique and you will be able to keep your torso erect when running.
Thread the Needle
This is one of my favorite exercises to build lateral core stability. That quality hill help improve hip range of motion and the avoidance of leaning side to side.
This is not as common as the next two but it is still important to train for. Losing energy with side to side movement is going to take away from the force needed to sprint forward.
Mini Band Deadbug
The mini band deadbug might be one of my favorite core exercises for athletes. It requires you to actively pull one hip and extend the other. This is the exact motion of the legs during sprinting.
This exercises is also really difficult for most people at first. If it is tough to perform with your back supported on the ground, it is going to be that much harder to do it when you sprint.
A light band is all that is needed and they should be performed pretty slow. The goal is to extend the leg completely.
The Pallof press is one of my favorite anti rotation exercises. The goal is to use a cable or band to push straight out and avoid the pull into rotation.
A lot of athletes will swing their arms across their body and rotate their shoulders. The arms should swing forward and backward. That needs to be addressed first.
The torso can still rotate even if the arms are not coming across the body. All movement should be forward when sprinting. Losing it to rotation is going to cause a loss of speed.