Speed intervals for athletes' cardio will improve your performance. Athletes training for speed and power should do a variation of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio exercise. Doing too much distance running will not allow you to reach your maximum speed and power potential.
Also, HIIT is the best way to burn fat in the shortest amount of time as well as increase VO2 Max. All that's needed is 20 minutes per session.
Here is an example of how HIIT could work for an athlete:
After a proper dynamic warmup, sprint for 10-15 seconds and walk for 1 minute. The sprint has to be at maximum effort. Do this rotation for 20 minutes.
To continually challenge yourself, progress this cardio exercise to surfaces such as inclines, hills and stadium steps. Weighted resistance, such as vest, could also be used. Its just that simple! And that tough!
Another good interval cardio exercise for speed athletes is speed jump rope. It is performed in short intervals at up to 200 RPM (revolutions per minute). It also uses the anaerobic energy system (85% to 95% of max heart rate) and develops fast twitch muscle fibers.
This type of speed jump roping gives you more speed, quickness, agility, balance, coordination, power and knee/ankle/foot strength. Jumping rope also improves your timing---a critical element needed in sports. Boxers are legendary speed jump ropers.
Try more speed interval cardio during your workouts. It will help your athletic performance.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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