Strength Training for Sprinting Performance

A heavy lower-body day to get you strong and powerful, and prevent injuries while sprinting

Jahmeek Taylor Murray, one of Canada's Top Fitness Trainer workout for runners

Strength training not only has the potential to reduce your risk of injury by correcting muscle imbalances and improving muscle activation, but it will also increase the efficiency of your sprinting biomechanics which results in improved sprinting performance.

Front Squat
Rep Range 6-8  Sets 4

All Day Fit 5 Coaching Cues:

  1. Corkscrew your feet into the floor – encourages awareness and tension in foot.
  2. Big breath in, brace your core.
  3. Elbows in and up to engage your lats.
  4. Open your hips as you pull yourself into the bottom.
  5. Drive your feet into the floor to stand tall.

Rest the barbell across your shoulders, elbows forward with your fingertips under the bar. The weight of the bar is on your shoulders, and your fingertips provide some control.

The key to a good front rack is having sufficiently “high elbows.” In practical terms, your upper arms should be close to parallel with the floor in the front rack, with your elbows pointing straight ahead.

Trap Bar Deadlifts
Rep 6-8   Sets 4 

All Day Fit 5 Coaching Cues:

  1. Line up the middle of your foot with the middle of the trap bar. 
  2. As you hinge imagine pushing your bum to the wall behind you.
  3. Place hand directly in middle of the bar.
  4. Pull slack out of the bar to engage your lats.
  5. Drive your feet into the ground to stand tall.

The trap bar deadlift is a total-body movement that can be utilized across various sports. Both veteran athletes and newcomers to the gym alike can benefit from training the trap bar deadlift due to its wide applicability.

The design of the trap bar allows you to align the weight closer to your centre of mass. By standing within the frame instead of behind a standard barbell, you can increase your leverage and assume a more upright posture. I highly recommend the trap bar over the standard barbell for most people! 

Bulgarian Split Squats
Reps 6-8/side  Sets 3

All Day Fit 5 Coaching Cues:

  1. Start in the bottom position.
  2. Plant leg slightly tighter than 90 degrees.
  3. Square your hips.
  4. Squeeze under your armpits to engage lats.
  5. Push through front foot to bring you to standing.

The Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on a bench or a sturdy chair.

Any time you can work your body unilaterally — meaning that you target one side of your body independently from the other — you can improve side-to-side muscle imbalances!

Copenhagen Plank with Knee March
Reps 8-10/side  Sets 3

All Day Fit 5 Coaching Cues:

  1. In a side-plank position, place the top leg on a bench with the bottom leg under the bench. 
  2. Lift the hips until your body is in a straight line. 
  3. March knee to hip while maintaining a long spine.

The Copenhagen plank strengthens the adductors to protect against adductor strains when sprinting! 

Photography by Emma Arsenault

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Read This Story in Our 2023 Running Issue
Featuring Rory Linkletter, Canadian long-distance runner. Add to your bucket list with the top Destination Marathons Around the World. Train for 10 km right up to a marathon – plus a 70.3 program. Increase your strength and work your core with Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers. Enjoy plant-based, post-run breakfasts and so much more.