Olympic sprinters make running look easy. It’s almost as if they don't have to try. So how do you develop leg muscles to make you run faster? We recommend focusing on the key muscle groups involved in running, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Strengthening these key muscle groups will allow you to see immediate results as you run faster than you ever have before! But we’ll let you in on a little secret - sprinters work extremely hard to develop the muscles that help them run faster.
You’ve nailed your form, endurance, and stride, but how do you take your running to the next level? Strength training is excluded from many runners' training programs. When it’s included, strength training is treated as occasional cross training to be carried out on non-running days. However, strengthening the muscles essential to running is the backbone of great endurance training. The right exercises will target the muscles required to increase running speeds.
The good news is there are tons of VertiMax exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles needed to run faster, gain power, and improve running performance to smoke the competition at your next big event.
Leg Exercises to Increase Running Speed
1. Dynamic Warm Up (Raptor)
If you want to enhance running speeds, you must develop your leg muscles. Set your resistance to medium or maximum on the VertiMax Raptor and load it to your ankle. Start laying flat on your back, with your palms facing the floor. From this position, you can begin leg lifts and knee drives (full and across). Be sure to complete equal sets on each leg.
Once you complete your reps, assume the prone plank position and begin abductor leg movements, perpendicular knee drives, or inline knee drives. Once you have completed reps for both legs, move to a standing position and begin straight leg pull backs, bent leg push backs, and hamstring swings. This warm up is guaranteed to work your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glute muscles.
2. Speed Training (V8)
If you are looking to build explosive power to enhance running speeds, this is the drill for you! Place resistance bands loaded at the waist, as well as at each quad. Start in a standing position, about 10 meters in front of the platform. Then, explode forward and hit top speed within about 15 meters before decelerating gradually to a stop. Simple, and very effective, VertiMax speed training will help you run faster.
3. High Knees Run Out (Raptor)
Attach one end of a resistance band to a solid anchor and the other end around your waist. Start in a standing position, about 10 meters in front of the Raptor. Begin high knees and full speed for 25 meters, repeat. High-knee exercises target and tone your core, quads, glutes and calves. Because of the one-legged stance during the movement, this exercise also serves to help improve your balance.
4. Sprint Drills (VertiMax Shockwave)
With the resistance set at your waist and the other end anchored to the VertiMax Shockwave, step away desired amount from the VertiMax. At medium speed, run through the Shockwave, reducing your speed towards the end of your sprint. This drill helps athletes achieve high-speed training benefits while training at slower, safer speeds.
5. Lunge Backside Frontside (Raptor)
Anchor your VertiMax Raptor (i.e. on a fence) and set the resistance at your waist. Step about 10 meters in front of the Raptor. Proceed into a lunge, knee lift, step back down, and then back to reset. Be sure to keep your foot low while you pull through. This is an ideal drill to strengthen your core and leg muscles - both of which are vital to enhancing your running speeds.
6. Box Jump - (V8)
One of our favorite drills with the VertiMax V8, box jumps will increase endurance and strength. Start by standing on the platform and attach bands with resistance at the waist. Explode into box jumps for twenty seconds on/twenty off, for a repetition of three times. Be sure to remain on the balls of your feet throughout the duration of the active portion of the drill.
7. Hamstring Pull (V8)
Hamstring pull drills develop your planting leg stability, hamstring speed, and coordination. Not only will hamstring pull exercises enhance running speeds, they will also help to reduce hamstring injuries. Start by attaching the resistance band to the arm of the opposite leg that will cycle through, and the ankle of the leg that will cycle through.
As you complete the drill, be sure your leg is coming down to the ground at full extension, under center of mass, in a slight pull behind center of mass in extension. When cycling the leg through, be sure to engage in proper heel recovery, engaging into dorsi flex position so that the toe doesn’t extend into plantar-flexion. This drill mimics the motions on a track, so you can enhance running speeds by training smarter - not harder!
8. Step Up Run (V8)
The stronger your legs, the faster you will run! Starting on the platform, with resistance loaded at the hips and thigh, step up on to the box. Alternate stepping up and down with rapid movement while engaging the plant foot. Be sure to come up through with a nice hip drive, engaging the glutes for stability.
Whether you are a professional athlete, student athlete, or simply looking to beat your personal record, VertiMax research shows it radically improves speed and the ability to run faster. If you are interested in learning more about how the VertiMax speed training system and method can help you run faster, contact a member of our team.
3 Quadriceps Exercises To Run Faster
Your quads (quadriceps) represent your thigh muscles. Quad muscles help you straighten your leg, and they help lift your knees towards your chest. They also generate the force to propel your entire body forward. Your quads play a significant role in your body for speed training. The stronger your quads, the faster you will run.
1. VertiMax Speed TrainingIf you are looking to build explosive power to help you run faster, this is the drill for you! Place VertiMax resistance loaded at the waist, as well as at each quad. Start in a standing position, about 10 meters in front of the platform. Then, explode forward and hit top speed within about 15 meters before decelerating gradually to a stop. Simple, and very effective!
2. Negative SquatStart by standing on your VertiMax platform with your bungees set at the max resistance. Holding a 25–35 pound plate, or whatever feels comfortable, take eight counts to lower into a parallel squat. Once you have completed the squat, take eight counts to rise back into a standing position.
3. Paused Squat JumpStand on your platform, loaded at the waist. Assume a parallel squat position. Place your hands on the back of your head, and your elbows out. With one sudden exertion, jump up. Upon landing, try to pause and remain still for one second. Repeat the jump again for 10 -12 reps.
3 Glute and Hamstring Exercises to Run Faster
Our glute muscles and hamstring muscles engage when we pull our knees and thighs towards the rear side of our body. They also engage when we bring the heels up to touch the glutes. Strengthening both the glute and hamstring muscles will help you to run faster.
We commonly injure the hamstring muscles on runners because it is located on the back of our thighs. Injuries happen because the hamstring is often weaker and out of balance compared to the front thigh muscle. Hamstring injuries most commonly occur in sporting events in which they frequently perform high-speed sprinting and kicking.
1. Trap Bar Deadlift with Band Hip PullThis is a great exercise for your glutes and legs, to help you run faster. Attach one end of a resistance band to a solid anchor and the other end around your waist. Walk forward until you feel a slight resistance pull at your waist. While resisting the band, perform a Trap Bar Deadlift. Be sure to keep your chest up and your arms locked at your sides.
2. VertiMax JumpGreat for your quads, glutes, and hamstring muscles. Start by stepping into a VertiMax with a medium to heavy resistance (depending on your ability). Keeping your knees over your toes, jump high and fast, then land safely. Repeat for 10 - 20 seconds.
3. Hamstring Pull DrillThis drill is great for preventing hamstring pulls and building proper form. It’s designed to strengthen your muscles to help you run faster. Using resistance at one wrist and also on the opposite ankle, stand above the VertiMax and cycle your leg through a full rotation. Essentially, you will feel like running in place. Be sure to keep your foot in solar flexion to ensure proper form and keep your feet outstretched directly under your center of gravity.
Whether you are a sprinter, long-distance runner, football player and everything in between, VertiMax is proven to radically improve 40 yard dash times and overall speed. If you are interested in learning more about how the VertiMax speed training system and methodology can help you run faster, contact a member of our team. We look forward to helping you run light years ahead of your competition!