Sprint Training: One of the best CORE workouts you’ll ever do!
Sprint training = core… really?
Oh yes, sprinting really does work your core! Trust me, after a tough sprint session coughing and laughing will be off the cards because of how hard your core has worked. Not just your core, it will help you build and define your glutes, hamstrings and quads whilst burning off the fat layers that hide those muscles underneath.
Sprint training will give you tone, fitness, explosivity, speed, and a kick-ass physique! (Obviously as part of a good healthy lifestyle.) Ever noticed a sprinter at the Olympics without abs? Nope, me neither. Now to get a physique like that you have to be super dedicated and super fast, so don’t expect to be Usain Bolt or Jessica Ennis overnight, but we can use sprinting as a tool to get you the awesome bod you’ve always wanted because you don’t have to run as fast as these awesome athletes to get the same out of it; it is about how much EFFORT you put in.
Core training is usually, if not always for some, isometric (holds) training, so laying on your back, side, front, standing still or wiggling around on the floor like there’s a swarm of flies around you. Don’t get me wrong there are some awesome core exercises out there BUT none of these are explosive; sprinting on the other hand is.
Consider this: an Olympic sprinter takes 44-47 steps to complete the 100m whereas an average person would take 57-60 steps. This means you’re working your core 57-60 times by driving your knees aggressively forward every time you step so your core will be working 57-60 times in around 12-16 seconds, meaning you’re getting some good bang for your buck! There is a very powerful combination during sprint training of power output, aggression (contraction) and relaxation, engagement, constant tension, efficiency, technique, and efficiency in technique.
So it’s great for burning fat, I hear you say?
Now the phenomenon of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has never been more popular than it is now thanks to the Body Coach, but I’m afraid to say this way of training is NOT a new concept; sprinters have been doing it for years, and sprinters have also always had amazing physiques! Sprinting does two great things for the fat factor. Firstly, HIGH intensity sprint work will burn loads of calories and boost your metabolism, and secondly, it will make it last. In other words you will continue burning calories long after your sprint session. You may have heard this as the “after burn effect” when people talk about HIIT.
Sprinting burns fat whilst simultaneously building muscle in all the right places; it’s your perfect scenario!
Now to get these amazing results you have to run YOUR fastest, it doesn’t matter if the person next to you can run a sub-10 seconds 100m or if they take double the amount of time as you, everyone must push themselves at their own pace and speed but you must put in 100% effort.
As with all forms of exercise if you don’t do it properly there is a risk of injury, so here are a few tips to stay injury free:
Tip #1Always start with a good warm up and finish with a cool down. Make sure the dominant muscles you are using are fully prepared for the load you’re about to put them under.
Tip #2 – Wear proper shoes. Ever tried sprinting in flip flops? If you haven’t I don’t recommend it. If you have, then what the hell were you thinking of?!
Tip #3 – Engage your core. This might not make sense but to run fast you should have a good balance of relaxation and tension. Imagine as you run something is about to hit you in the stomach and this may help.
Tip #4 – Use the arms! The arms move the legs; they should also be kept at 90 degrees the whole time.
Tip #5 – Don’t stop on a dime, finish through the line! Remember to only start slowing down once you’ve passed the finish line; stopping quickly places a big load on the hamstrings so a lot of injuries occur this way.
Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN! Beat the boredom by getting outside the gym and doing some sprints, bring a buddy and race each other, do games that involve sprints and keep changing it up so that you don’t get bored. Time yourself, then try to beat that time every week, and so on.
To recap, sprinting is basically an awesome workout for your core, glutes, hamstrings and quads. You will burn fat and build muscle so basically you’ll look leaner and more toned especially in the core, legs and booty…