Have you ever seen sprinter’s hamstrings?!
Sprinters and some other track and field athletes have some of the most developed hamstrings. On average, most muscles are split around 50/50 between slow-twitch (type 1) and fast-twitch (type 2) muscle fibers. If you want maximal muscle growth you have train and stimulate both types of muscle fibers. Sprinting is a great way to train those fibers.
If you’re new to repeat sprints and you haven’t been doing a lot of hamstring training (especially eccentrics), you should prehab your hamstrings before running. Here are some exercises we recommend to warm up:
For the average person that wants to begin sprint training for the first time, we recommend 1-2 sprint sessions/week, 10-15 sprints per session, starting with 10-15s sprints followed by 45-50s of recovery, preferable an active recovery like walking or jogging. Sprints are designed to be an all-out 100% effort exercise, thus you need adequate recovery between each sprint because of the energy systems you’re tapping into. Try starting with a 1:5 work-to-rest ratio (10s sprint, 50s rest) and then you can modify from there. If you need more rest time because you feel yourself slowing down, try 1-2 minute rests. If you don’t feel winded and things are going well, you can try 1:3 work-to-rest ratios. If you want even more of a metabolic conditioning type of workout, you can trial 1:2 work-to-rest ratios, just realize it will be challenging to maintain 100% effort! Even more important though is to include a de-load/off week from sprints every 4 weeks or so in efforts to avoid an overuse hamstrings injury, especially in those who are just starting sprint training for the first time
And thats a wrap on our series covering hamstring growth.
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