Why All Athletes Should Sprint
By: Nick Newman MS
There are obvious reasons why athletes who sprint while participating in their sport should be sprinting regularly during their training sessions. However, it is not so obvious why other athletes should include sprint training as [art of their workout. Athletes who participate in sports such as Volleyball, Rowing, Martial Arts, Tennis, Golf, Pitchers in baseball, Dancing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Cycling, Skiing and a variety of others are aren’t necessarily required to sprint in their sport should all include sprint and speed training into their training routine.
Here are 5 important reasons why:
1) Train fast to be fast – There aren’t too many sports out there where speed in some regard is not important for success. Therefore, by training fast and explosively during sprinting workouts the athlete not only develops the ability to sprint but also to move and react in an explosive manner. The ability to produce power, which is developed through sprint training, can be directly expressed through other skills such as hitting a baseball, jumping for a rebound, and striking and soccer ball.
2) Develop coordination on multiple levels – Sprinting is a highly complex skill that requires the movement and coordination of multiple body parts. Being able to control your own body at high speeds is an essential ability that can be transferred to virtually all sports.
3) Variation of training overload – In order for the body to adapt to training it must be overloaded. By that I mean an external stress must be placed on it that promotes adaptation. A common way to stress the muscles is to add an external load like lifting weights in the gym. However, the body is very smart and needs multiple stressors in order to reach its adaptation potential. Sprinting adds variety to the training routine and is a great method of overload.
4) Develop the prime athletic muscles – By prime athletic muscles I of course mean leg muscles and core. Even with sports that are upper body dominant, it is the lower body and core that drives the ability to produce power. Sprinting develops these key athletic muscles in a dynamic way that will transfer across all sports.
5) Improve in-game movement efficiency – Improving acceleration speed, maximum speed, and/or change of direction speed will improve an athlete’s efficiency while performing at sub-max or game speeds. This will improve the ability to play harder for longer during games.
If you have any questions regarding the information in this blog please feel free to email me at NickN@ChampionsQUEST.com