Lower body strength and power will improve your running speed. Other things being equal, a muscular, powerful athlete will outperform a fat, slower or skinny, weaker athlete.
You need the right kind of lower body training to enhance your speed and power.
Here are a 5 tips to help you run faster:
1. Strengthen and condition your hips, glutes, thighs and hamstrings. These groups make up your athletic "power center."
"Powerize" your running with exercises like power step ups and squat jumps. Other single leg exercises like lunges are great because single leg exercises use the same pathways that it takes to run.
2. Make squats, deadlifts, good mornings, glute/ham drops and hang cleans regular exercises in your routine.
3. Strengthen your core every day. Exercises like planks, side planks and bridges can be done every day. A strong core is important for speed endurance.
4. How much lower body strength do you need to develop optimum power and speed? A male should be able to squat his body weight 8-10 times and a female should be able to squat about 75% of her body weight 8-10 times. If you are not able to squat, then you should be able to leg press about 1.5 times your body weight 8-10 times.
It doesn't help you to continually get stronger if power development is not there also. Power, or speed strength (how fast your muscles can produce force) is one of the best physical predictors of success in sports.
5. The running mechanics are important to improve straight-ahead speed. Practice these mechanics every day!
Train hard and smart!
Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Sports Fitness Hut