Powerful Leg Workouts To Run Faster

Powerful Leg Workouts To Run Faster

Before you start learning the powerful leg workouts to run faster, please be sure you have already learned the proper running mechanics and techniques in the previous section where I share with you the tips to run faster by using the proper body positioning.

The reason why I teach you proper running mechanics first before teaching you how to increase your leg strength is because I do not believe in increasing your strength and compounding any poor running mechanics and habit you currently have.

The strength workouts to run faster that I share with you will immediately enhance your running speed and if you have any bad running habits, the increase in strength will also magnify them so be sure not to skip the previous section on proper body positioning.

Ways To Run Faster Using Weight Training – Fact Or Fiction?

It amazes me that there are still coaches, trainers, and athletes that still DO NOT believe in using strength workouts to run faster when looking for ways to run faster.

The coaches and athletes who have been living “under a rock” believe that using weight training or any type of strength workouts to run faster will:

  • Reduce your running speed because the extra muscles you develop will add extra bodyweight.
  • Reduce your running speed because you will be too big and bulky to move with ease and fluidity.
  • Reduce your running speed because you will be at higher risk of injury.

These myths about weight training and strength workouts to run faster are complete BULLSHIT!

The reality is that strength training is one of the most powerful and effective ways to run faster when done correctly!

The best way for you to understand the reality of strength training in learning how to run faster and longer is to imagine replacing the 4 cylinder engine in your typical Honda Civic and replacing it with a 12 cylinder Corvette engine!

Imagine how much faster the Honda Civic can run now that it has nearly three times the horsepower!

Strength training does the exact same thing for the human body when it comes to speed training.

If your legs have the strength to squat 100 pounds and you increase your strength to squatting 300 pounds then you have just increased the “horsepower” of your legs and you will naturally run faster due to the increase in power.

Strength training using weights is one of the fastest ways to increase your running speed and drastically reduce your risk of injury as long as you select the right strength exercises and do it correctly!

Notice that I put a lot of emphasis on the “right” strength exercises and “doing it correctly“.

Like anything else in life, if you don’t learn how to do the right strength training exercises, it’s natural that you will not get any favorable results and risk an injury.

How To Run Faster And Longer
With Proper Weight Training Exercises

Before I show you how to run faster and longer using weight training exercises, I will first first show you the function of each muscle group responsible for making you run faster then I will show you the best weight training exercises on the market for that specific muscle group.

I will focus primarily on using weights for your strength training because :

  1. They naturally mimic your natural body movements.
  2. They are easy to learn.
  3. They are easily accessible by everyone around the world.

Despite all the weight training you see people do, there are basically only 6 primary muscle groups that are DIRECTLY responsible for you running faster.

The 6 primary muscle groups responsible for your speed include:

1.  Quads

Function Of Quad Muscle :

The word “quad” is short for “quadriceps” muscle.  The quad muscle is basically your thigh muscle.  The function of the quad muscles are to straighten your leg, lift your knee up towards your chest, and generates the most force off the ground to push your whole body forward.  This is the most important muscle in your body for speed training and plays the biggest role in helping you run faster.

Recommended Quad Exercises:

  1. Barbell Squats
  2. Leg Press

Here is a Barbell Squats video tutorial:

Here is a Leg Press video tutorial:

2.  Glutes/Hamstrings

Function Of Glutes & Hamstrings Muscles :

The glutes are your butt muscles and the hamstrings are the muscles on the backside of your thighs.  The function of the glutes and hamstrings muscles are to pull your knee and thigh towards the rear side of your body and also to bring your heel up to touch your butt.  The hamstring muscle is the easiest muscle to injure on most runners because it is often much weaker and out of balance compared to the front thigh muscle.

Recommended Glutes & Hamstrings Exercises:

  1. Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  2. Lying Hamstring Curls

Here is a Stiff Legged Deadlifts video tutorial:

Here is a Lying Hamstring Curls video tutorial:

3.  Chest

Function Of Chest Muscle :

The faster you swing your arms, the faster you move your legs.  The function of the chest muscles are to pull your arms and elbows towards the front side of your body.  The chest muscles are the primary muscles responsible for the bulk of your arm swinging motion.

Recommended Chest Exercises:

  1. Barbell Flat Bench Press
  2. Barbell Decline Bench Press

Here is a Barbell Flat Bench Press video tutorial:

Here is a Barbell Decline Bench Press video tutorial:

4.  Lats

Function Of Lats Muscle :

The word “lats” is short for “latissimus dorsi”.  The lats are basically the muscles located underneath your arm pit and around your shoulder blades.  It normally flares outwards when you flex them to give a cobra like illusion and gives the appearance that you have “wings”.  The function of the lat muscles are to pull the elbow towards the rear side of your body.  The lats are the most important muscles for pulling your arms towards the rear.

Recommended Lats Exercises:

  1. Close Grip Cable Pulldowns
  2. Close Grip Pull Ups

Here is a Close Grip Cable Pulldowns video tutorial:

Here is a Close Grip Pull Ups video tutorial:

5.  Biceps

Function Of Biceps Muscle :

The biceps are the muscles located on the front side of your upper arms.  The function of the biceps is to bend your arms so that your fingers can touch your shoulders.  A strong bicep helps you to have a stronger and mor powerful arm swing .

Recommended Biceps Exercises:

  1. Barbell Bicep Curls
  2. Standing Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls

Here is a Barbell Bicep Curls video tutorial:

Here is a Standing Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls video tutorial:

6.  Triceps

Function Of Triceps Muscle :

The triceps are the muscles located on the back side of your upper arms.  The function of the triceps are to straighten out your arms.  Having a strong tricep helps you to have a stronger and mor powerful arm swing .

Recommended Triceps Exercises:

  1. Barbell Overhead Tricep Extensions
  2. Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions

Here is a Barbell Overhead Tricep Extensions video tutorial:

Here is a Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions video tutorial:

How To Run A Faster Mile Or 100m Sprint

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to figure out how to run a faster mile, how to run a faster 5k, a faster 100m sprint or just run a faster 40 yards in football, you still need to incorporate some type of strength training in your workouts to run faster.

In the old days, everyone thought doing any type of strength training with weights would get you bulky and slow you down.

Then training to run faster became more of a science and the short distance running athletes who play football, basketball, baseball, soccer etc. started to incorporate strength training with weights to have stronger legs in order to run faster.

Despite the fact that all professional athletes today have some kind of strength training regimen inside their speed training program, there still seems to be a large number of long distance runners who do not think it’s necessary to do much strength training in their endurance running programs.

This is completely incorrect!

It does not matter if you are looking to run faster in a short distance or long distance, you still want to incorporate strength training with weights into your program and get the benefit of the extra strength.

If you are an endurance athlete, having more strength and power will:

  • Allow you to swing your arms and legs much with “less effort” because your muscles are stronger.
  • Allow you to swing your arms and legs with more “force” because your muscles are stronger.

Therefore if you are an endurance athlete reading this article, be sure to use the strength training exercises that I have shared with you.

If you continue your endurance training and add the strength training component, you expect to reduce your 5k and 10k runs by as much as 10-20 minutes.

Strength Workouts To Run Faster – Summary

The old school workouts to run faster simply consisted of training to run faster and that was it.  The new school workouts to run faster now consist of several components that will help drastically increase your running speed.

One of those new school components of speed training is to include a strength training program into your workouts.

When I recommend strength training, I am referring to strength training with mostly free weight exercises because:

  • They are easily accessible by everyone around the world.
  • They mimic natural human movements.
  • They are scalable and the weights are easily adjustable.

Strength training allows you to be more efficient in your arm and leg movements as well as produce more force to propel your body forwards.

I recommend you do the following workouts to run faster:

Day 1 = Quads, Glutes/Hamstrings, Lats

2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Squats or Leg Presses (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Stiff Legged Deadlifts or Lying Hamstring Curls (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Close Grip Cable Pulldowns or Close Grip Pull Ups (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)

Day 2 = Chest, Triceps, Biceps

2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Flat Bench Press or Barbell Decline Bench Press (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Bicep Curls or Standing Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Overhead Tricep Extensions or Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)

Day 3 = Rest

Day 4 = Quads, Glutes/Hamstrings, Lats

2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Squats or Leg Presses (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Stiff Legged Deadlifts or Lying Hamstring Curls (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Close Grip Cable Pulldowns or Close Grip Pull Ups (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)

Day 5 = Chest, Triceps, Biceps

2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Flat Bench Press or Barbell Decline Bench Press (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Bicep Curls or Standing Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)
2 sets x 10 reps = Barbell Overhead Tricep Extensions or Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions (Choose ONLY 1 exercise)

Day 6 = Rest

Day 7 = Rest

This workout routine will basically allow you to do your strength training twice a week for each muscle group.  All your strength training should be done after your running drills and not before.

This will allow body to be warmed up and your joints are well lubricated before you start your weight training.

Now that you understand the importance of strength training with weights in your workouts to run faster, let’s take a look at other ways to run faster.

The next component of speed training that I want to share with you deals with your running stride.

  1. Go back to the previous section on “Tips To Run Faster Using Proper Running Techniques
  2. Go to the next section and learn the “Stride Length Workouts To Run Faster

Go back to the homepage and get more answers to, “How Do I Run Faster?”