Acceleration Workout

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction“ - Newton's third law of motion.

When sprinting, if we create force Y downwards and backwards into the ground, then the reaction will be Y if the body works with a kinetic chain. The below exercises can help with force production which is a key ingredient of sprinting and running faster.

These two simple drills are great for developing acceleration and postural strength which is a key component in acceleration and top end sprinting. These drills can be performed all year round and are great for developing leg strength, postural strength, increase in co-ordination.

Spend time performing the drills at a low intensity before increasing their speed.

Fatigue will impair technique and could lead to the learning of incorrect movement patterns.

Exercise 1: Wall leg drives

Purpose: To learn the leg movement required for dynamic acceleration. Pushing the leg down into the ground.

Description: Stand facing a wall. Place the palms of your hands flat against the wall, around shoulder height. Angle your body so that there is approximately a 45-degree angle through your ankles, knees, hips and head. Lift one leg so that the thigh is parallel to the ground and support your weight on the toes of your other foot. Drive the elevated leg back toward the ground so that its toes contact the ground and then immediately pull the leg back to the start position. Complete the designated number of repetitions and swap legs.

Technique Tips: The acceleration movement is initiated from the muscles at the top of your thigh – the hip flexors – so focus on using these muscles when performing the drill. Gradually increase your speed until you are performing the drill as fast as you can.

Workout : 4 x 10 with each leg, rest for 2 minutes then repeat

Exercise 2: Alternate leg, wall-drive combination

Purpose: To further develop the pushing acceleration leg movement – this time working both legs.

Description: Assume the same starting position as for exercise 1. Drive one leg down and as soon as it contacts the ground, pull the other to a ‘thigh parallel to the ground’ position and then drive it back to the floor, while bringing the other leg to a thigh parallel to the ground position.

Workout : 4 x 10 with each leg, rest for 2 minutes then repeat

The above exercises are a great way of developing the central nervous system (CNS) which we have discussed before. If the CNS fires then the muscles can work more effectively for you.

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