Increase Workout Intensity With Overload Sprints
Overload Sprints are an important part of athletic training. This sprinting workout uses overload sprints (front sprinter) by forcing the athlete to sprint at the same intensity as a normal sprint, but with added resistance. This added resistance forces more muscle recruitment and will increase power output by the legs and core of the athlete during sprints. This increase in power aids in developing a longer stride length for the athlete. Stride length and stride frequency are the two components which determine sprinting speed.
This sprinting workout allows athletes to be more explosive by forcing greater muscle recruitment in the glutes and legs. By forcing the body to activate more muscles to execute the overload sprints, a larger portion of these sprinting muscles will be trained and strengthened to be more explosive. Through this recruitment of a larger portion of the muscle athletes are able to train the muscles to function and assist during their normal sprints, resulting in greater power output and stride length.
Assisted Sprints and Overspeed Training to Help Develop Stride Frequency
Overspeed training is a form of training in which the athlete forces the body, or a specific part of the body, to move at a faster rate than normal. The assisted sprint portion of the sprinting workout uses overspeed training, with the Reactive Stretch Cord, by assisting the rear sprinter throughout their partner sprint. By forcing the body to move quicker the muscles are being trained to fire at a faster rate. This increase in the rate at which the muscle fibers fire will have a significant impact on the stride frequency of a sprinting athlete.
Properly Executing Assisted Partner Sprints
To properly execute the sprinting workout athletes will need two Adjustable Belts, a Reactive Stretch Cord, a partner of similar athletic abilities, and enough room to safely execute the Partner Sprints.
The Reactive Stretch Cord stretches up to 20 feet. This distance needs to be taken into account when picking a location to execute the sprinting workout. Proper space needs to be allowed for the length of the fully extended Reactive Stretch Cord and the distance to be sprinted by the athletes during the sprinting workout.
Both athletes will secure the Adjustable Belt around their waist and attach one end of a Reactive Stretch Cord to each of their Adjustable Belts. After the Adjustable Belts and Reactive Stretch Cords are secure athletes will line up and prepare to execute the assisted partner sprints.
Athletes will begin with one athlete behind the other, both facing the same direction. Enough room should be between the athletes so that the Reactive Stretch Cord is parallel to the ground, not hanging or touching the ground. At this point athletes are ready to execute the sprinting workout.
The athlete in the rear will begin the sprinting workout by verbally signaling to the front athlete to begin the partner sprint. Once the front runner has begun to sprint, the back runner will wait to begin their portion of the sprint until tension is felt in the Reactive Stretch Cord. Athletes at the front of the sprinting workout need to remember to pump their arms and drive their knees to push through the resistance provided by the Reactive Stretch Cord and their partner. Rear athletes should begin their sprint as soon as tension is felt in the Reactive Stretch Cord. Athletes in the rear should focus on quick movements with the legs making frequent contact with the ground. Proper timing of the rear sprint will allow for both athletes to maximize the overload and overspeed training being exerted on their bodies.
When the athletes are prepared to stop the sprint the rear athlete will again verbally signal to the front runner to begin to slow. It is important the rear sprinter take control during the sprinting workout. The rear runners timing will be thrown off if they do not know when the front runner will begin or end their sprint. If both runners cannot communicate and slow down at the same time the Reactive Stretch Cord may fall to the ground creating a potential tripping hazard. If sprinting form begins to break down athletes should reconsider:
1) The amount of rest given between repetitions (rest should range from 45 seconds to 2 minutes if necessary)
2) The distance being sprinted by the athletes.
Athletes will perform 4-6 repetitions of the Reactive Stretch Cord Assisted Partner Sprints 1-2 times per week. Repetitions of the partner sprints may be performed in succession or the athletes may alternate positions on each repetition. By adding this sprinting workout to a regular training routine athletes will see significant gains in stride length and frequency, resulting in greater sprinting speed. Sports specific training should occur following the sprinting workout.
How Reactive Stretch Cord Assisted Partner Sprints Help Maximize Sprinting Speed
By simultaneously elongating the stride of athletes and increasing their stride frequency athletes are using one sprinting workout to train two different facets of sprinting. By overloading the resistance athletes encounter on the partner sprints, athletes can maximize the power they produce every time their foot hits the ground. This power production is then again maximized by increasing the rate at which the athlete is able to make contact with the ground.
Coming from a nearly stationary position the athlete will have a stronger more powerful first step, due to the overload training they have implemented into their sprint workouts. After the first few steps the athletes stride frequency plays a short term, but important role. Since the distance between first and second base is not a great distance, frequent contact with the ground must be made in order to produce power from the running stride. Stride frequency and stride power will make it easier for the base runner to obtain a more explosive start, reach maximum speed quicker, and cover a greater distance in a shorter period of time.
Another sports specific example of the benefits of the sprinting workout can be seen in football when a running back is running through the line of scrimmage. Beginning from a stationary position, once the play begins and the running back receives the ball they will not always take off on a dead sprint. Running a play up the middle of the line of scrimmage, the running back must wait to see a running opportunity before trying to reach maximum sprinting speed. After a proper running lane has been identified the running back will begin to accelerate quickly through the running lane to avoid contact with another player. The quickness and explosiveness to burst through the line of scrimmage and the added strength to stave off poor tackling are positive effects attributed to overload and overspeed training for athletes.
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