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 exercise will target the muscles required to enhance running speeds.
Regardless of your athletic need, work these exercises into your routine to hit your strongest, fastest running times.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 is designed to help athletes achieve high speed training benefits while training at slower, safer speeds.
- 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.
- 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. Proceed to 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.
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 be cycling through, and the ankle of the leg that will be cycling 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 is designed to mimic the motions on a track, so you can enhance running speeds by training smarter - not harder!
The stronger your legs, the faster you will run! Starting on the platform, with resistance loaded at the hips and thigh, begin to 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 is proven to radically improve 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.