Sprint Away the Fat
The activity of sprinting is nothing new, however, the act is becoming more and more popular in the strength and conditioning and personal training world to induce fat loss, amongst a host of other benefits. Sprinting is one of the best core exercises you can do, yes core. Think about the explosive transfer your arms and legs make with all that torque ripping through your midsection.
Try this: Stand with your feet just outside shoulder width, squat down just slightly to give yourself a nice base, fold your arms across your chest. Now, make sure no one is looking because you’re about to look ridiculous. Rotate your shoulders back and forth explosively as if you were sprinting. So, basically you’re mimicking what your core does as you sprint. Feel that? There’s your proof.
Sprinting is a fantastic way to stay athletic, mobile, and of course, explosive. Just because you don’t play a sport, or even if you do, being explosive has a lot of positive carry over to enhance your ever day life. Look at the guys in the Twilight films, they are all explosive and everyone likes them. For the sake of this article, lets focus on the powerful fat burning effects of sprinting. Take a look at any competitive sprinter and you’ll notice that they are completely ripped, and muscular on top of that. Runners certainly aren’t known for their muscular development, unless by running you mean, sprinting. However, before we get excited and head outside and start trying to break Usain Bolt’s records, there are some pre-requisites you should cover.
- Before you sprint, you should have a nice foam rolling session and perform some mobility work.
- Also, make sure you really make your hamstrings, hip flexors, and upper back a little more pliable via some sort of dynamic warm up or stretching.
- You will also want to make sure to “activate” your glutes with some hip bridges and maybe some lateral band walks.
- After you’ve warmed up, you’re ready to start your sprint workouts.
Sprinting is a great way to start off a workout as you are fresh and can get the best bang for your buck. It is probably a good idea to give yourself a few weeks of hill sprints before you work on flat ground. When you sprint up a hill, the ground reaction forces are much less. Meaning, when your foot slams on the ground each stride, the hill lessens the forces your joints and muscles need to absorb.
- Simply sprint up the hill and walk down, and repeat.
- A good hill to start with could take maybe 5 to 10 seconds to run up. Sprint up, walk down, that is one repetition.
- Try to go for 5-10 repetitions. Once you feel ready to move on, go to flat ground and work up from 50 to 100 yard sprints.
Benefits of sprinting include
- Rapid fat loss.
- Building muscle (specifically fast twitch fibers).
- Increase endurance and work capacity.
- Improve heart health.
- Improve insulin sensitivity. (this means you can utilize carbs better/not store them as fat as easily).
- Enhanced EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) – You’ll burn more calories AFTER exercise
- Improve mobility.
It is probably wise not to sprint on pavement just in case you stumble and hurt yourself. Also, it is very wise to be thoroughly warmed up before you sprint at max capacity. Start sprinting at about 40-60% of your max on a hill, then work up to 100% on a hill, then repeat the process on flat ground.