This week’s study looked at 35 young, active individuals that participated in a 6 week program involving either resisted sprint exercises (running against bands with weighted expanders attached to a treadmill for up to 10 seconds) or 3-5 sets of ballistic lower body exercises (leg press, leg curl, knee extension) at 40% of their 1rm. They were assessed for sprint speed, ground contact time, vertical jump height, and Y-balance showing that BOTH groups had significant improvements in sprint speed, ground contact time, balance, and vertical jump. What’s interesting is that one group did not have significant improvements compared to the other! It has been suggested by Rumpf, 2016 that the resisted sprinting improvements come from improvements in sprint-specific technique while the general power training works to improve power production necessary for sprinting which leads to the question…why not use both? Which is likely what happens in a well-planned training program. BUT if you are in a pinch and feel you cannot get the most out of your sprint training, keep in mind that based on this paper, performing ballistic exercises will give you the same bang for your buck compared to resisted sprint training. .
This is NOT medical advice. If you're in pain, please see your local physical therapist by visiting www.moveforwardpt.com