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Speed Strength Training: Use the Stairs!

Dec 3, 2009

A great way to speed strength train is by running stairs. Perhaps you feel you are not getting enough out of simply running on flat ground and want to increase your time. In order to increase your time, you must think of weight training. If you can train your muscles to be in peak condition, and your speed will greatly increase. Perhaps you’ve been doing sprints. This helps with acceleration and long distance running helps with endurance. Acceleration and endurance is key to speed running. However, you need pure strength and power to keep your legs pushing ground again and again. For this reason, it is best to run stairs.

The Beauty of Stairs

Stairs are wonderful because they work your hamstrings, gluteus, thighs and calves. Running stairs will train your muscles like you were using weights and give you even more pushing power when you are running. A Stairmaster machine works the same muscles, but doesn’t allow you the same speed and extension of movement as the real thing does.

Up. Down. Repeat.

What you want is bleachers. Go to your local high school or college stadium, football field or track. Anywhere that has seating stands. From there, it is pretty simple. Run up and down those stairs and repeat. Run up one flight, move over to the next flight, run down them, move over to the next flight, run up them, and so forth. Do this from one side of the stands to the other. If you are in a full stadium, plot a course of how far you are going to go. How much you do will have to be adjusted to the size of the course you are on.

Adding in Between Exercises

By doing this, you will feel it in your legs instantly. But don’t stop there. There is one other element you can add in that will help even more. Create leg exercises to do in between each stair set. After you run up one set of stairs, as you move over to the next one, do lunges the whole way over. Then run down the stairs. For each set of flat ground in between stairs, do a different exercise.

Some others you can do are duck walks, where you are completely crouched down, bunny hops, where you hop along like a bunny, and wheelbarrows, where you walk on your hands and feet. By doing this, you are ensuring that you are working different leg muscles at all times.

Faster. Faster. Faster.

As you progress on an established routine, time yourself. Try to beat your time continuously. If working out with a partner, put yourself on opposite sides of the bleachers and have a race. Give yourselves a set amount of stair sets to run and see who can do it faster. But be careful, because one misstep running down a flight of bleachers stairs can land you in the hospital. Running stairs trains your muscles as if you were doing weights. That power will keep your feet hitting the ground faster and faster and will increase your run time.

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