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Only Quads Sore After Sprinting

Hi all,

When I do sprints, the next day my quads and inner thigh area get extremely sore but my hamstrings and glutes are fine. However, since hamstrings and glutes are the most important muscles when it comes to sprinting, does this mean that I am not recruiting them enough? If so, are there ways to improve this? Possibly longer stride length? Thanks guys.

try hill sprints, u will definitely feel your hamstrings and glutes.

Thanks. I’ll try that. Nevertheless, I’m still looking to recruit more hamstrings and glutes in my normal flat sprints, not as a means to directly work them per se, but as a means to increase my overall speed. Therefore, I’m wondering if, technique-wise, I’m doing something wrong. Anyone have any more ideas?

It is most likely your running form. When you sprint, you run OVER the ground, not on it. You should be up on your toes the whole time, do not let your heels touch the ground, and focus on heel kicks. Heel kicking is when you kick your heel back trying to hit your butt each time. Do not bring your knees up, this is a common mistake. Doing this throws your weight behind you, and fucks up your balance and forward lean. The only time you are allowed to use high knees is during the acceleration phase, which is not more than 15 meters for most people, if even that.

Get 3 sets of deadlifts in during any lifting sessions before your sprints. It sounds like you need to activate your glutes and hamstrings before you start running. That’ll do wonders for your running form. Make sure you’re upright and PULLING through your heels with each stride and following all the way through by contracting your glutes. Forget about your workout for awhile, and just focus on running while recruiting your posterior chain before you move back into balls out intervals.

[quote]chawlsrules wrote:
When I do sprints, the next day my quads and inner thigh area get extremely sore but my hamstrings and glutes are fine. However, since hamstrings and glutes are the most important muscles when it comes to sprinting, does this mean that I am not recruiting them enough? [/quote]

No, it doesn’t mean a thing other than you quads may have taken a greater eccentric load.

The advise given isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just meaningless in your case since soreness is not an accurate way to judge muscle involvement.

Yeah those sore quads def means your sprinting form needs correction.

As others have recommended, “waking up” your posterior chain is the place to start. SLDL, RDL, GMs, 45-degree back raises etc. Nothing too heavy, as the goal would be getting familiar with maintaining a neutral lumbar spine and allowing the glutes, hams to power these lower body pulling movements.

And while sprinting, try thinking of “setting back” with your hips to get rid of that forward lean while you run. The idea is to keep your hips completely level and feel your hamstrings pull the body along with each stride. These last points are awfully vague I know, but keep at it and you’ll know you’re there when you start getting those amazing ham & glute pumps. It shouldn’t take very long at all, actually.

try to go over to evolutionaryathletics.com and ask those guys about your problem…sounds like you are a pull runner instead of a push runner…you could also do 75 reps of glute activation work daily as well.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
try to go over to evolutionaryathletics.com and ask those guys about your problem…sounds like you are a pull runner instead of a push runner…you could also do 75 reps of glute activation work daily as well.[/quote]

Thanks for the website! Lots of good information on it. And yeah, from the other posts as well, it seems imperative that I do more posterior chain work more frequently.

Yeah your goal is to transition from quad-dominant to hamstring-dominant motor patterns. Do your searching with that concept in mind, as plenty of coaches have spoken about it in articles here and elsewhere.

Also would add that single leg squats are a nice movement for forcing the glutes to wake up and do their part.

[quote]chillain wrote:
Yeah your goal is to transition from quad-dominant to hamstring-dominant motor patterns. Do your searching with that concept in mind, as plenty of coaches have spoken about it in articles here and elsewhere.

Also would add that single leg squats are a nice movement for forcing the glutes to wake up and do their part.
[/quote]

Yeah, I’m adding in single leg squats, reverse lunges, and single leg deadlifts in my program to hit the posterior chain hard. What do you guys think about stretching hamstrings more often in order to recruit them more actively during sprinting? If so, what are your favorite posterior chain stretches?

[quote]rasturai wrote:
try to go over to evolutionaryathletics.com and ask those guys about your problem…sounds like you are a pull runner instead of a push runner…you could also do 75 reps of glute activation work daily as well.[/quote]

You mean he is a push runner and not a pull runner.

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

[quote]chawlsrules wrote:
When I do sprints, the next day my quads and inner thigh area get extremely sore but my hamstrings and glutes are fine. However, since hamstrings and glutes are the most important muscles when it comes to sprinting, does this mean that I am not recruiting them enough? [/quote]

No, it doesn’t mean a thing other than you quads may have taken a greater eccentric load.

The advise given isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just meaningless in your case since soreness is not an accurate way to judge muscle involvement.[/quote]

I agree with this advice. Soreness from the quads could be more related to the pounding with each step rather than the contraction of the muscle. So not that the advice give would hurt to try to focus further on your hamstrings, you might already be targeting your muscles just fine.