Woman sprinter leaving starting on the athletic track

Fitness isn’t defined by just one factor; it’s a whole set of parameters that work to meet the definition of being physically fit. Strength, cardiovascular health, agility, reactivity, and speed are just some of the elements.

It’s easy for an average fitness enthusiast to work on some areas of the fitness paradigm while neglecting others. Speed development is often put on the wayside because it is thought to be a training tool for athletes only. But, there are plenty of reasons to add speed training, even for non-athletes. People of all experience levels will benefit since the ability to accelerate quickly then slow down correctly can prevent injury in the gym, workplace, and life activities.

Why Speed Development

  • Sprints add muscle definition by increasing the activation of type II muscle fibers
  • Promotes the body’s ability to build muscle by releasing anabolic hormones
  • Improves dynamic flexibility because the range of motion is greater during sprinting.
  • Explosive actions help improve the structure of the surrounding tissue, which makes it crucial for injury prevention.

Adding Resistance

When you add resistance to sprints, it requires a greater force to move at high speeds.
You can achieve resistance in two ways:

  1. The object that will create resistance (such as a fitness cable, sleeved tubing, or sled pulling)
  2. Surface (turf, hill, etc.)

Sled pulling and partner fitness cable runs will allow for steady resistance pulls, as long as your partner is willing to keep up with you! You can also have a fitness partner stay in place while you work on leveled resistance going back and forth.

Try this workout!

What you’ll need:
1 x Agility Ladder
1 x Sleeved Tubing
1 x Hill
1 x Training Partner (to hold the tubing)

In this workout, we have several things pulled together at once.

The hill element allows for more horizontal force production because of the lean. This will enable you to keep your body at an angle that is used during the acceleration phase longer than you could typically do. Using the sleeved tubing while sprinting up promotes the explosive power, while the return is all about control.

Running Backwards can improve muscular balance because you are working the opposing muscle groups typically recruited for forward running.

Using the agility ladder gives an element of coordination as you must think through accuracy of footwork as you move up and down.

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