You Should Be Sprinting & Jumping More

Written by Blaine McConnell

Functional training has become more and more popular over the years, and if you are in the CrossFit/functional fitness world, you may think it is the most popular way to train. With its popularity comes some downfalls as more people are trying to become fancy with their functional training to the point where it becomes a gimmick for Instagram. But you don’t need to be standing on a BOSU ball doing single-arm kettlebell presses to get in better shape. In fact, you don’t even need any equipment to get in better shape. Two of the most functional movements for the human body are neglected far too often in most programs – sprinting and jumping.

You should be sprinting and jumping more. These two activities added in to your program can help train strength, power, body awareness and can also be a lot of fun.

Why Sprint?

Sprinting and using sprinting drills are a great way to improve form and build stability and strength in certain areas most people have issues with: like hip extension, hip flexion and lower abdominal control and strength. Sprinting is also a great way to get in some fun conditioning as well. Want to feel a burn in your butt and hamstrings? (Who doesn’t?) Try this:

Eight Sets of:
20 meter Sled Sprint
Rest as Needed Between Sets

Followed by…

Four Sets of:
20 meter Sprint (no sled this time)
Rest as Needed Between Sets

You will definitely feel your backside after that workout, and well as start to notice some nice changes if you continue to train like that. Throwing is some sprint drills before you lift can also prepare you for a great lifting session as well. Getting the hips, quads, hamstrings and midline fired up and ready are a great prep for grabbing the barbell and getting ready for some front squats.

Why Jump?

Jumping can increase power, strength and overall coordination. Single-leg jumps, split squat jumps and single-leg bounds are all great ways to do that. Nothing made me feel more unathletic than the first time I did this:

Three Sets of:
Single-Leg Tuck Jumps x 5 reps
Rest as Needed Between Sets

Followed by…

Three Sets of:
Single-Leg Bounds x 8 reps
Rest as Needed Between Sets

Training like this will not only help build power and strength, but also a lot of coordination and body awareness. I like to throw in some jumping on days that I am doing my Olympic lifts because I feel the transfer from a full hip extension on the jumping carries over well to the snatch or the clean.

Functional doesn’t mean fancy. Functional should be learning to move and control your own body. That is why when I write out each cycle of the Athlete X program I always program sprinting and jumping into the program. It is as functional as it gets and it is also a ton of fun. If you are ready for a program that will help you continuously improve your strength and get you back to looking and feeling like an athlete – this program was made for you. Registration for Athlete X is now open!