Preseason Training For Sprints, Jumps, and Hurdles

When we as athletes contemplate our upcoming season we know with certainty that we must prepare our bodies for the physical pounding.  The athlete that does nothing in the preseason runs a great risk of getting injured.  Preseason training can take many forms, but one of the most common for sprinters,  hurdlers, and jumpers is circuit training.  Circuit training is effective because it involves cardiovascular training as well as joint strengthening.  The athlete is able to establish an aerobic base, which is better suited to sprint training.  When doing circuit training an athlete must be careful to gradually increase intensity of effort and exercise.  Circuits can be designed to address weaknesses or strengths of a particular athlete.  The following is a typical circuit:

                    1.   Jog 100 Meters

                    2.   20 push-ups

                    3.   Jog 100 Meters

                    4.   20 crunchers

                    5.   Skip 100 Meters

                    6.   20 x jumping jacks

                    7.   Skip 100 Meters

                    8.   10 x body squats (aka prisoner squats)

                    9.    Walk 50 Meters

                   10.   Backward run 50 Meters

                   11.   20 x ankle bounces

                   12.   A Skips x 100 Meters (High Knees)

                   13.   Skip x 100 Meters

                   14.   Frog hops x 50 meters

                   15.   Carioca x 50 meters

                   16.   Side to side skip x 100 meters

                   17.   Side to side skip in opposite direction 100 meters

                   18.   jog 100 meters

                   19.   hop on 1 leg 50 meters

                   20.   hop on opposite leg 50 meters

                   21.   20 x windmill arms both forward and backward

                   22.   jog 100 meters

                   23.   sprint 100 meters

                   24.   Jog 100 meters

                   25.   skip 100 meters

This is a very basic beginning circuit that covers 1600 meters and works on some basic skills needed in the areas of sprinting, hurdling, and jumping.  One only needs to decide how much yardage you'd like to cover and how much time you have in putting together a circuit.  The whole point is being active.

Jump ropes are frequently added to circuits because they provide both great cardiovascular work and explosive joint jump preparation.  One can do both in place jump rope or running a set distance while jumping.  If you have problems with coordination basic gymnastic movements help as well as providing explosive movements.  An easy jump rope gymnastics circuit would be as follows:

                     1.   Jump rope 30 sec.

                     2.   5 x forward rolls

                     3.   5 x cartwheels

                     4.   Jump rope single leg 15 sec.

                     5.   Repeat with the other leg

                     6.   5 x backward rolls

                      7.  50 meters x jump rope while doing high knee drills

                      8.   10 x back push-ups (aka Bridges)

                      9.   50 meters x jump rope running backwards

                      10.  50 meters x jump rope running uphill

                       11.  30 seconds x hop scotch

This is a typical jump rope gymnastics series.  All the above exercises in both circuits aid greatly in injury prevention and allow you as an athlete to begin the season at a higher level.  These workouts are not meant to take 2-3 hours.  They require an hour of your time with the benefits far outweighing the negatives.  Get in shape and have fun doing it!