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For Athletes: 4 Ways To Improve Sprint Speed

In sports, your sprint speed is probably the most measurable way to demonstrate your potential as an athlete. Every professional athlete knows how important their speed is to them, and that is why they do all it takes to maintain and improve their speed.
Improving your sprint speed won’t only benefit you if you’re a runner. Whether it’s football, basketball or any other kind of sport you engage in, your sprint speed is of utmost importance. Here are 4 drills and exercises to help you improve your speed and make you more marketable as an athlete:

1. Up and Down

up and down
This is just one of the best ways to work both on your overall speed and acceleration simultaneously. All you need is a hill or hill-like structure. To work on your acceleration, run up the hill and to work on your overall speed, you’ll need to run down the hill.

According to sport experts, attacking a gradient causes your body to adapt to a slightly inclined posture, which is similar to the acceleration phase of running. On the other hand, running downhill will force your body to co-ordinate and adapt to moving at a high speed. Just take precautions not to tumble.

2. Plyometrics

These are really explosive exercises, used a lot by martial artists. Professional sprinters have also adapted to these exercises over the years as they yield an increase in both strength and speed.

A recent study has found that a 10-week program of plyometric related exercises can improve your sprint speed by up to 5%. Some of the plyometric exercises that will definitely benefit you in your quest for sprint speed improvement include:
Squat Jump – squat down, then jump off the ground as high as you can
Vertical Depth Jump – Look for a vertical height, not too high and jump down and back up as fast as possible.
Lateral Jumps – From a standing position, jump side to side
Power Skipping – On each skip, try to lift the upper leg as high as possible

3. Workout your Hamstrings

Improving your sprint speed has a lot to do with your lower body strength. To improve your speed, hit the gym and work on those hamstring muscles. Ask your gym instructor to show you the different machines and exercises you could use for building up your hamstring muscles.

4. Weight drag

weight drag
You’ve probably seen this on television. One of the best ways to improve your speed power is to run against resistance, and dragging weights along as your run helps you do that. You could tie a strong rope to a not-so-heavy weight and try dragging it along as you run as fast as you can.


As an athlete, you’ll need to improve every day, so take these tips into consideration; practice them, and with time, you’ll definitely see a significant development in your sprint speed. Even if if you’re not a serious athlete, these tips will still help improve your fitness and stamina.

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