Training the Hamstrings: Sprint Drills & Technique

The first post on training the hamstrings focused on the strength training aspect.  While it is very important for athletes to achieve an optimal level of strength for their sport, this aspect of training alone is not a guarantee for success.  Athletes need to train other aspects of physical preparation in order to match the demands of their chosen athletic endeavor.  Proper sprint training is a key component to success in many sports; this is even true of sports where sprinting may not be performed much at all (post on elitefts.com by well-respected coach of physical preparation Buddy Morris when discussing training volleyball players).  Clicking on the post will get into some of the information that we are going to discuss on sprint training in this post and others, along with having some other interesting points as well.

One way to work on sprinting technique is through a series of drills designed by Polish track & field coach Gerard Mach.  These drills represent various parts of the sprints, and can be used to improve upon sprint technique or address general athleticism.   This group of drills that Mach used was known as the “ABC” series.  In a post by Lee (2012), the drills were described as working on the  following components the sprint:

A: Knee lift

B: Foreleg reaching and clawing action

C: Push-off and extension

These drills can commonly be utilized in a warm-up, or they can be included into the main portion of training as a component of an athlete’s speed work.  All of the drills can be broken down into marching, skipping, and running motions, as a progression throughout a training program (i.e. A march, A skip, A run, etc.).  If utilized over short distance, the drills are deemed “power speed” drills; when utilized for longer distances, they are considered “strength endurance” (Lee, 2012).

It is important that drills are performed with proper form.  Regardless of the application (i.e. performed in a warm-up or used as a strength endurance activity), anytime form breaks down the drill needs to be stopped.  Correct use of these drills can help in improving sprint form, along with helping to prevent hamstring strains while sprinting.

Sources:

Lee, Jimson.  Sprint drills:  Gerard Mach revisited.  [Online] October 19, 2012.  [Cited December 12, 2012.]  http://speedendurance.com/2012/10/19/sprint-drills-gerard-mach-revisited/.

 

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