There is no doubt that sports are incredibly popular. In addition to watching sports and playing sports-related video games, you also have sports memorabilia collecting and Sports Card Auctions, which have seen a lot of growth in recent years. Of course, there are also millions who play sports.
No matter what sport you play, there is a good chance that one crucial aspect of the sport is running. Being able to run with speed, power and good form can help in everything from soccer, to football, to basketball and even baseball.
However, not everyone is a born runner. Thankfully, with a little training, every athlete can become faster, more agile and more explosive. Here are a few running drills you can incorporate into your routine to improve your speed in any sport.
If you want to develop more sprinting power, hill sprints are a great way to do so. All you need to do is sprint for 10 to 20 seconds up a hill, about five times in a row, with a few minutes in between each sprint. If you don’t have a hill, doing it on a treadmill on a high incline setting can do the trick.
These sprints can help you develop a ton of strength in your lower body, which is instrumental to being a faster and stronger runner. Hill sprints are also incredibly hard work, so they can work wonders for your endurance and cardio.
Be sure to use proper form with these runs. Having your arms pumping and driving your knees up will help you run faster and have a more effective workout.
Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is an effective drill when it comes to building speed and stamina. Ths drill essentially has you perform a run that consists of some periods of faster running, with some periods of slower jogging. By varying your speed, you can often perform these workouts for much longer stretches.
These drills challenge your body to become faster over longer distances, and can help you get a better sense of how and when you are able to “switch gears”. They can teach you to better maintain your speed when you’re tired, and give you some diversity, which will surely carry over to any sport.
This training is also very flexible, as there are no set rules for when (and how long) you have to run versus jog. Simply do what feels right to you and, over time, you will become faster and know your body better as a result.
The Carioca drill is another one to consider. This drill helps to not only improve speed, but also build up hip mobility and improve your coordination and form. It will target a ton of muscles throughout your legs, hips and core, as well as strengthen these areas. Your flexibility will also improve, along with improved communication between your nerves and muscles.
The way you complete this drill is generally quite simple. It is similar to shuffling from side to side, only that you are crossing your legs over one another as you go. It can be a little difficult at first, but eventually, you will find it much easier to balance and your hips will open up, making it easier to move and cross your feet. This drill should be done both left to right and right to left, to ensure optimal performance.
Becoming faster and more agile is a great way to succeed in many different sports. Any of the drills covered here are sure to help you improve your speed and help you on the field, court or diamond.