If you want to run fast, the best exercise or drill is running fast.
If you are going to do weights, try to do them standing up on 2 feet, because that’s how you run. If you are going to do squats, do them standing. No seated squats or leg presses! If you want to do leg curls (for a young developing athlete, or to sort out muscle imbalances), then find a machine that you can do them standing.
Emulate the running motion as much as possible. There is no Olympic event lying on your back and lifting a person sitting on your face! (No glazed donut jokes, please!)
On Monday’s article on Plyometrics, I mentioned the importance of plyometrics in my training regime because it bridges the gap between strength and speed.
But you should do them as close to the running motion as possible!
Single leg jumps or hops are great because sprinting the 100m meters is really 45 huge steps or bounds which require a tremendous amount of co-ordination. That’s why sometimes speed and agility go hand in hand. (save that for another article) And that is where speed bounding takes place.
Speed bounding is another great exercise to develop the speed and power for sprinters.
In this video, we have Hakan Andersson, who is currently coaching Stefan Tärnhuvud. Hakan also coached Peter Karlsson with a 100m PB & NR of 10.18, plus a 9.98w to his credit.
Note how Stefan takes a running start, does about 8 steps before resuming a forward running motion. He is not bounding for max distance. You could do these drills on a smooth astroturf surface. Also take note of the arms and shoulder action, to maintain balance with these ballistic movements.
This drill is great for elastic power, but also to develop the CNS (central nervous system) and neural pathways required for high velocity sprinting.