You want to go fast. You need to go fast. And developing your speed and agility is a great way to get there. That’s why sprinters spend a ton of time doing plyometric and quickness exercises -- to get their feet and legs used to moving quickly and exploding with power. If you want to get in on the action and develop greater speed for yourself, agility drills are a great way to get there, especially if you use a jump rope. This is an awesome tool that will help you generate dynamic sprinting ability and propel you to the finish line.
As a sprinter, you need to be able to explode out of the blocks, accelerate to a high speed and maintain your pace throughout the race. You’ve got to turn your legs over quickly, and your entire body needs to be strong to generate and sustain your momentum. That’s why a complete sprinter’s training program includes sprints, plyometrics and strength training.
Jumping rope isn’t just for little girls anymore; it’s for serious athletes. From the boxing ring to the track, some of today’s most talented jocks pick up a rope at the demand of their coach and start jumping their way to a better performance. And it’s completely effective, too. Jumping rope allows you to demand speed and power from your legs while also requiring you to keep your core and upper body strong. And depending on how long you jump, it can also increase your speed endurance, making you able to run faster longer. Oh, yeah, and it torches tons of calories, too.
Because you can’t sprint on cold legs, you have to warm up before you hit the track. One of the best uses for a jump rope in sprinting is to get your body loose and ready for an intense set of sprints. To incorporate jumping rope into your warm-up, sandwich short, easy sets between circuits of sprinting track coach Cedric Hill’s A-marches, lateral lunges and lunges.
Beyond the warm-up, jumping rope can help you develop your speed as part of your plyo drills. Mix up standard jump rope sets with alternatives like figure-8s, double jumps, single-leg sets and running in place with high knees. You can also take the rope to the track and jump forward for several yards, backward and also laterally.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.