8 Best Strength Training Exercises To Improve Speed

exercises speed speed development Mar 13, 2023
8 Best Strength Training Exercises To Improve Speed

Single Leg Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats

When you get to the bottom of the range of motion in an actual squat, a lot of times you find yourself in a little bit more of a flexed spine position in the lower back. In this exercise, you have a more neutral (extended) position in the spine, which will transfer over better to sprinting.

Also, in this rear elevated squat, you can really sit down deep and you can get a lot of drive. When you’re doing this exercise, make sure you’re not allowing your knee to go too far over your toe or your knee to angle in towards the center of your body. You should aim for your knee to go over your second and/or third toe. 

Squats, Deadlifts:

If you want to do squats, aim for something that you’re pulling from the ground. Trap bar deadlifts are a good way to still get that squatting action and range of motion. These are a great way to still work your glutes, hamstrings, and back, while putting less stress on your lumbar spine.

Straight leg deadlifts are also great because you will be able to lengthen the hamstring as you’re going through the motion. You can expand your range of motion by putting something behind your heel or your toe. This exercise benefits your explosive power, hamstring mobility, and jumping, which are all key components in sprinting. To achieve a more explosive first step, check out our article here.


There are a lot of different variations you can do involving lunges. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell, and you can do lunges where you’re walking, stepping back, or reversing. No matter which type of lunge you choose, you need to make sure that you are controlling your knee- meaning that your knee isn’t collapsing inward and that you’re getting plenty of forward bend.

You also want to maintain a good extension within the back hip as you are going through. Lunges are great because it can help you address any muscle imbalances that you may have.

Nordic Hamstring Curls

These are a great option to create length and control in your hamstring, both of which are crucial for improving your speed. Also, Nordic curls increase hip flexion, which benefits your stability, and knee flexion strength, which helps you in shock absorption.

Good Mornings

Good mornings are really good for strengthening the muscles in your posterior chain, which are the hamstrings, lower back, and glutes. It’s great for the range of motion and eccentric, or lengthening, control of the hamstring.

This will help you increase and maximize your speed and keep your hamstring healthy, as well as reduce the risk of injury. As you are coming through in the exercise, you want to mainly focus on driving your hips all the way forward- this will benefit your lower back strength. 

Quad And Hip Strength

This band exercise is great for hip flexor strength and being able to maintain a good extension within your knee. The motion carries over to frontside mechanics, which will help maximize your stride and increase your speed. 

Anterior Tibialis Exercise

Working out your anterior tibs is super important because it lessens the risk of injury, as well as assists in stabilizing the knee joint. This exercise really focuses on the range of motion within the anterior tibialis and ankle. You will be going through dorsiflexion and plantar flexion, which will help you absorb the ground better, as well as transition off of the floor quicker to maximize your speed and efficiency.  

Broad Jumps:

Although this isn’t a weight bearing exercise, it really helps create extension within the posterior chain. It also helps you gain a lot of power, which can easily be translated into sprinting. 


If you want a visual tutorial (explanation) of the above process, you can watch the video below: 

Thank you for reading! 

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