Sprinter’s Workout Part 2: Sprint Thrust
In the sprinter’s workout three-part series, I am taking a focus on explaining some exercises for producing a powerful sprinter. In Part 1 I covered the topic of hang cleans and the proper techniques prescribed by the USAW and some of my coaching queues as well.
Here in part 2, I am going to go over a resistance band exercise that I call a Sprint Thrust. In the video, you will see a Bucknell sprinter doing a series of sprint thrusts from her direct workout. On this day we did 4 sets of 8 reps. These are performed by placing anchored bands over the shoulders and pushing through the feet into a semi-horizontal jumping motion. This is done very aggressively, while maintaining a braced mid-section, and triple extending through the legs.
When the athlete presses into the bands; the bands will stretch and get progressively tighter, just like a rubber band, as it is stretched. This will cause the athlete’s muscles to recruit more muscle fiber stimulation as she presses through the full range of motion. This is called accommodating resistance. This can be a very powerful way to train, but should not be attempted by a novice weight lifter or young athlete.
When in the extended position the bands will pull you back and your body will have to decelerate this backwards pull. When she drops back into a deep squat position, the athlete will be required to reverse the direction quickly and explode with all their power back into extension. This principle is very similar to the principle of plyometrics. I believe this to be safer and more effective than high depth box jumps (jumping down off a high box and then exploding back up into a jump when landing on the ground).
This exercise will primarily benefit a sprinter by enhancing their power output out of the blocks for a race. Let’s face it, sprinters are typically fast at this level. If I can get them even just a fraction of a second faster out of the blocks, then this exercise would be considered successful. Guess what….it is successful!
This is also a great exercise for swimmers and football lineman to train with. Just look at the positioning and the application for use and you can easily see why. Just make sure the bands are anchored securely and the feet can press off of something as well. I am using a modified jump platform that we welded pipes onto. I have seen it done in power racks with the bands anchored to the base of the racks and a 2 x 4 across the front of the rack for the feet to press into. Just be safe in what ever set-up method you choose to use and always start off with light band tension when first learning. Progress with band tensions slowly when increasing the width or number of bands being added.
Hope this helps,
To your health,