Ask The Ripped Dude: How Can I Run Faster?

I've published more than 100 fitness articles and became the Bodybuilding.com 2012 Male Writer of the Year. My goal is to help you get in the best shape possible!
Q

How Do I Improve My Sprinting Speed?

Everybody wants to be fast. Even if you're not a professional or collegiate athlete, speed makes you a better teammate and a deadlier foe. It's also a source of pride. Being the fastest kid on the block is an always-relevant bragging right.

So how do you become the neighborhood "Flash?" You practice sprinting, that's how!

I've compiled great drills to help you get better at producing speed and power. I've also added an interval workout so you can practice becoming the next Usain Bolt. Before you hit the drills and workout, however, check out these five crucial sprinting tips:

1
Parallel Squats

When you sprint, each step needs explosiveness and power to propel your body forward. The more power you can produce, the faster you'll be. Implement parallel squats into your regimen to help increase your power production.

2
Rest Makes Best

Speed training will improve your abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, and arms. It's a total-body, anaerobic workout. Because these workouts are so intense, it's important to take a day or two of rest after you do one. You wouldn't lift your chest two days in a row, would you?

3
Arm Yourself!

Remember: When you sprint, your arms control your legs. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle, almost like you're picking something out of your pocket. They should never cross your body. Good arm movement will dictate your speed over a longer distance.

4
Ham It Up

When sprinting, your quadriceps are your accelerators and your hamstrings are your decelerators. In other words, your quadriceps muscles propel you forward, while your hamstrings slow you down. Don't just come to an abrupt halt at the end of a sprint. Allow yourself to coast through the finish line. Otherwise, you put a lot of stress on your hamstrings which could lead to strains, pulls, and tears.

5
Stretch

All-out sprints require flexibility. Your legs, hips, and back should be supple and strong. If you're tight, then you won't be able to achieve the range of motion necessary for speed. Perform flexibility training at least five days per week.

Related Video Speed-Improvement Drills
Watch The Video - 04:36

Speed-Improvement Drills
  • High Knees High Knees High Knees
    5-7 sets of 20 yards
  • Quick Feet Quick Feet Quick Feet
    5-7 sets of 20 yards
  • High Hops High Hops High Hops
    5-7 sets of 5 jumps
  • Standing Broad Jumps Standing Broad Jumps Standing Broad Jumps
    5-7 sets of 5 jumps


Do these drills twice per week with at least one day of rest in between.

Speed Improvement Workout

Perform this workout twice per week with at least one day of rest between sessions. It's best performed after the speed drills.

Set 1, Sprint Intervals: Rest no more than 30-45 seconds between sprints.

  • 20 meter sprint
  • 40 meter sprint
  • 60 meter sprint
  • 80 meter sprint
  • 100 meter sprint

Set 2, Sprint Intervals: Rest no more than 30-45 seconds between sprints.

  • 100 meter sprint
  • 80 meter sprint
  • 60 meter sprint
  • 40 meter sprint
  • 20 meter sprint

Perform all sprints at 75 percent of full speed. Go full speed on the last few sprints—but only if your body is fully warmed up.



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Known as ''The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,'' he's very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.

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Molinski44

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Molinski44

This is solid! Couldn't agree more with the effectiveness of sprints with regards to core stregnth. Thanks Obi!

May 7, 2013 5:40pm | report
 
itsJustAROD

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itsJustAROD

good stuff here

May 7, 2013 6:39pm | report
 
jlwick

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jlwick

I would like to add that those sqauts should be done wide stance. Also, where are the dead lifts? These pair well together to get you out of the blocks. Watch an elite sprinter get out of the blocks and you will see a lot of hip action. Dead lift for glutes and hamstings is a must.

May 7, 2013 8:52pm | report
 
rennbj4

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rennbj4

Agreed, the traditional squat doesn't translate that well into sprinting. The front squat is superior.

Jul 24, 2013 12:20pm | report
vincyrus

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vincyrus

Wide stance squats!! Awesome. I'm adding that on leg day.

May 9, 2013 9:32am | report
 
Marcozr1

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Marcozr1

Just what i was looking for!! thanks alot man.

May 9, 2013 4:46pm | report
 
BodyNProgress

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BodyNProgress

Former sprinter myself, so I love this article. Plus I'm starting to reintroduce HIIT/sprinting to my workouts after some years of training.

May 17, 2013 2:35am | report
 
DevonEdgar

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DevonEdgar

This is also great for your vertical jump and agility, well done

Aug 15, 2013 10:20am | report
 
smithy270887

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smithy270887

Cheers Obi!! 1 question do I do your sprint training straight after the speed drills or do you do the sprints on another training day???

Sep 25, 2013 4:49pm | report
 
tamswim

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tamswim

good

Mar 27, 2014 12:33am | report
 
Showing 1 - 10 of 10 Comments

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