Sprinting is one of the purest expressions of athleticism. This is one of the reasons the 100m dash is one of the most popular Olympic events (just watch at Rio 2016). For athletes, sprinting is also a staple component of many sports; this is why sprint training is so popular and necessary. If you plan to improve your sprint speed, and you should be, you need to be using a few Sprint Training Drills.
As Derek Hansen points out, the most important aspect of sprint training is to actually sprint. I am going to roll with the assumption that you’re someone who already sprints regularly as part of your training program. In order to improve different aspects of your sprinting, sometimes sprint training drills need to be added to the program. One of my favourite sprint training drills for athletes is the bounding drill.
Bounding is essentially a more powerful expression of your sprint start. Your focus is on generating as much power as possible through your acceleration mechanics. This means that we don’t ever transition to our max velocity or endurance phase of our sprint. Check out some examples in this video below.
The major keys to bounding are focusing on being patient through your extension on the plant leg and maintaining shin angle and knee drive in swing leg.
Incorporating bounding into your programming can be done in a number of ways. Bounding can be a great addition to the beginning of your workout to prime the nervous system and nail down acceleration mechanics. Getting some bounds in at the beginning should make your first few starts better. Bounding could also be put in with your plyometrics, later in your session. Generally, I will cue the bounds in one of two ways. I will either cue them as max distance per step or as a reactive jump with shorter ground contacts. Just know that you can change the drill to meet the characteristics that you’re trying to achieve.
Just like sprinting, I believe bounding is a great addition to every athletes toolbox. Becoming more powerful on each individual leg will be a welcome benefit to any athlete. Having a stable of solid sprint training drills will help any athlete maximize their speed. Let’s face it, if you aren’t getting faster, you WON’T EXCEL