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  • Greg Hodel

Consider sprinting over distance running for fitness.

Distance running is a popular fitness activity, while sprinting doesn’t seem to be very popular. Some advantages of sprinting over distance running are less time, less stress on the joints, higher metabolism, and building muscle throughout the body. A sprint workout could take as little as 30 minutes. It could consist of stretching, warm up drills, and four to six 200 m. sprints. Further time savings could be made by doing the workout every two days rather than every day. The short duration of the actual running time also contributes to there being less stress on the joints. With fewer steps taken, there will be fewer impacts on the ankles, knees, hips, and spine. If good sprint mechanics are maintained, there will be no additional stress on the joints caused by braking. Sprinting has an advantage over distance running in that sprinting increases metabolism for several days. With respect to fitness, this can help reduce body fat even when you take a day off for recovery. A final advantage of sprinting over distance running is muscular development. The limbs have a greater range of motion during a sprint than the more conservative movements of a distance run. The greater range of motion can develop more of an individual muscle than a smaller range of motion. Sprint acceleration creates a greater force against which the muscle must contract making it more similar to lifting weights. This contributes to muscle development. Sprinting not only builds and strengthens muscles in the legs, the workouts also develop the muscles in the shoulders, arms, chest and back. With such a comprehensive resistance workout, the amount of time spent in the weight room could also be reduced

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Orange County, California

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