One of the most important ways to increase speed doesn’t involve running. In fact, the number one key is to build leg strength.
What it is: Squat
Recommended by: Brad Ohrt, Northern Illinois strength coach
Why and how it helps: The squat trains your entire lower body — hamstrings, quads, thighs, hips and glutes.
By strengthening these areas, you’re able to improve power output, which is critical for helping you start and run faster.
How to perform
For beginners, weight should be 45-55 percent of your maximum. Make sure weight is evenly distributed as you hold the bar.
• Start with feet shoulder-width apart; toes slightly turned out
• Rest bar on shoulders and hold behind head
• Bend knees and lower as if sitting in a chair
• Pause, then push back to start position
• Repeat and perform for specified reps
Keep chest and head up throughout movement; keep knees behind toes; generate force from heels when pushing up
Sets/Reps: Perform 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps; rest for two minutes between sets
As you become more comfortable, gradually increase weight and decrease reps. Ohrt recommends the first increase to be 45-55 percent to 65-70 percent of your maximum weight.
Perform twice a week.