08 July, 2011
To be a successful 200-meter sprinter, you need a combination of natural speed and sports performance training. Whether you are competing on the high school, college or professional level, it's important to train for every aspect of the 200-meter race. During competition, sprinters are clocked from the time they jump out the blocks until they finish; proper technique and form can help get you to the finish line first.
A track athlete's block starts can make or break their race. Practicing good form and technique when coming out of the blocks will determine how quick your start will be. There are several key elements to focus on to achieve a perfect start out of the running blocks: Establish your dominant leg (lead leg) and hand placement -- typically wider than shoulder width apart. Strive for explosive power by pushing off the blocks. Focus on remaining in the drive phase for the first 30 to 60 meters.
Strength training is imperative to dominate in the 200 meters. It's vital to develop a strong core, powerful quads, glutes and hamstrings, as well as upper-body strength. Some of the more common power strength training moves that should be incorporated into every sprinter's workout are squats, the bench press and hang cleans. Incorporating core exercises will help you maintain good form throughout the race. Keep in mind that the faster your arms move, the faster your legs will move.
Most successful 200-meter sprinters are naturally fast, but speed training will help increase speed for competing on a higher level. Speed training involves technique drills that work on proper body mechanics and quick leg turnover. A few common exercises that should be included in each workout, especially in the warm-up, are the A-Skip, B-Skip, leg cycling and butt kicks.
Track workouts should include short sprints -- ranging from 30 to 60 meters -- to longer sprints -- ranging from 100 to 400 meters. The shorter sprints help with initial speed at the start of the race, while the longer sprints help with endurance as the athlete attempts to maintain high speeds for the duration of 200 meters.
Plyometric exercises are a solid addition to any 200-meter training program. Plyometrics help with lower-body explosion and should be performed based on quality and not quantity. Include box jumps, bounding, tuck jumps and single-leg hopping.
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