T Nation

Quad Cramps From Sprinting


hey everyone. I just started sprinting last week and i could barely finish all my sprints because for some reason as soon as i start running hard my quads seem to sorta cramp up.
even today in my first period weight training class i was jogging a couple laps with a buddy of mine. we were joking around and every once in a while i would start into a sprint and stop immediatley. i was calling them .5 yard sprints lol. but even that made my quads hurt. so it seems like any explosive horizontal running type movement causes it. i read that the usual cause for this is having stronger hammies than quads. if this is true, does anyone know how i could counteract this?

right now im doing 5/3/1 and im about to start the updated version of boring but big which Jim just posted on here a day or two ago. so all of my lower body movements would be a squat or dead. would you think its a good idea to switch my assistance sets of squats over to something more quad dominant like leg press?


Stretch/foam roll your quads, drink more water.


Start stretching and drink more water. I agree with the hamstrings being stronger than the quads statement since sprints use more hamstring than quads.

I wouldn't change the squat, just add in some quad dominant exercises after squatting. Also, the boring but big version should help with the quads. Hope all works out.


Are you warming up at all before you run? sometimes just a bit of a warm up and activation makes a world of difference.


Train your glutes and work on your form.


"The glutes can't get too strong in sports. The stronger they get, the more powerfully they contract in sprinting and the better they protect against low back, knee, hamstring, and groin injuries. Charlie Francis talked about how there were only a few athletes in the world who could maintain "sprint form" in the 100-meter sprint and how sprinters knew they had a bad day if they felt their sprints in their quads."


yeah its no joke about that program working your quads lol. i squatted on tuesday, that is over two days ago, and i can still hardly walk straight xD i have no worries about switching to a more quad dominant movement.


5 minute jog, 30-60 second stretch for hamstrings, hip flexors and quads, activation exercises for hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings. this i got it covered lol.


ive already been working on these glute exercises for a good three weeks, although i havent done any of those exercises or any sprints this week since my squat workout essentialy trashed my legs and i can barely walk let alone run lol.