Do you want to run faster? Well include resisted sprint training into your workout program! Adding some form of resistance to your sprints will give you massive gains in speed and power. If you don’t have a power sled, parachutes or resistance bands then try hill sprints. I do one session of hill sprints every week and not only find them great for improving speed and power in my legs but hill sprints really increase your metabolism and help you drop body fat if that’s your goal.
The Reasons Why Hill Sprints will Improve your Speed
A Better Drive Phase - Sprints improve the drive phase of your run helping you to reach maximum velocity quicker. This is really important not only for sprint athletes but for any athlete that needs to move quickly. If you play tennis, cricket, hockey, rugby, basketball, baseball, football or any other sport where speed is important then add a series of hill sprints to your training program.
High Knee Lift and Dorsiflexion – Hill sprints promote a better knee lift and dorsiflexion which is basically a toe up position. A high knee and good dorsiflexion loads the leg for a powerful drive into the ground which will help you run faster. Improving flexibility in your foot for a better dorsiflexion is vital if speed and power is what you are after. Hill running stretches your calf muscles and over time improves their elasticity and ability to contract more quickly. This will also improve your speed and power.
Other Benefits of Hill Sprints
Strength Endurance – Hill sprints help improve strength endurance so you are able to run faster for longer.
Ankle Strength – They also strengthen your ankles which is great if you play sports where speed, agility and change of direction are important. Strong ankles also lead to improvements in stride length as the stronger your ankles are the harder you can push off the ground when you run.
Help with Shin Splints – Hill sprints a strong anterior tibia is which can help you if you struggle with shin splints.
Reduce the Risk of Injury- Hill sprints are beneficial in that you can’t reach max velocity like running on the flat so you don’t actually put major strain on your hamstrings which reduces the risk of injury. Also as mentioned before hill sprints strengthen your ankles which will protect you from ankle sprains if you do any speed and agility training exercises like such as plyometrics, cone drills, agility ladder drills and any functional training where you change direction quickly.