T Nation

Sprinting and Leg Workouts


Would it be a bad idea to do sprints the day after I do lunges and squats? Becuase I do squats and lunges on Monday and Friday(I am currently training for basketball). But I also want to do sprints on Tuesday and Thursday and agility drills on Saturday.

Would me doing so hurt my legs and affect my strength and size gains? I can run. I feel some pain in my legs when I am running but the pain isnt big enough to prevent me from running. I'm just scared I might damage my legs. is it okay for me to sprint after the days I squat and do lunges? Please help.



Personally, I would do the sprints the day before the lifting, so your legs are fresher fro running. Using recovery methods after the lifting days should help keep your legs ready to repeat. Or, if possible lower the volume and up the intensity on the lifting days to avoid too much soreness. Just a thought. Epsom salt baths with stretching work for me.


How about doing sprints the same day as lifting? Except I'll sprint in the morning, while I will lift in the evening. is that okay?


I forgot where but I saw a progression of what type of strength should be trained first. It went something like this:

speed strength->ballistic exercises->maximal strength->submaximal/strength endurence

I'd probably sprints first, especially if you're working in higher rep ranges for squats and lunges because the whole point of higher rep ranges is to fatigue the muscles so that more are recruited. If you're already fatigued from sprints it's like a head start and you could either lower intensity or reps or drop a set to compensate.


I do 10 reps for 3 sets on squats and lunges.


Do your linear running on your upper body days. And your lateral running on your leg days. the set up we use for our collegiate athletes is this:

Monday: upperbody. Linear running/sprints

Tuesday: Legs(moderate intensity) & posterior chain. Lateral movement


Thursday: Upperbody. Linear deceleration and change of direction

Friday: Legs (High Intensity). Multidirectional work

On your leg days do bridge work and ab adductor work to get your groin and hips active. Lighter intensity like front squats on earlier days so you can still run later in the week and are not fried out. This has worked well with the athletes we train. Hope it helps.



Coach clonewars,

Saw your post on the Photos forum. Very impressive Oly lifts.

Would you be willing to give me an example of linear speed, decceleration and change of direction, and multidirectional sprint workouts? I am especially interested in the latter two. Right now I do a lot of Oly lifting and hill sprints; I would like to work on non-linear sprints so that I don't suddenly find myself in a world of hurt if I try to play a casual game of football or do a trail or city run requiring a lot of sharp, fast corrections in the course of movement.


You definately need to progress to the final objective. These are the progressions we follow.

Linear day
Beginner: A march - A skip no arms - A skip w/ arms. B march - B march no arms - B march w/ arms. Once you get those down, move into ankling through 8 mini hurdles. Outside leg is straight and paws at the ground while working on quick knee drive over the hurdles. Use your arms. Elbows and 90deg. and hand past the hip.

One thing that helps get the paw effect of the B skip is a stilt run. Running with your legs straight and pulling the ground. Then I go into a high knee run and work on the "cycle" and turnover of the legs. put the stilt run and high knee run together. here is the rep scheme I use.

Amarch 2x10yd
Askip no arms 2x10yd
A skip 2-4x10yd

Stilt run 2-4x10yds

B progressions (same reps as A)

High knee run 2x10yds
Stilt run into high knee run 2x10+10yds

Falling starts 4x30-40yds

this is all I will do for the first linear running workouts. Once you get effecient you will not need to do all the progressions obviously, Then the running volume can increase. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.

Lateral Day:
4 bags, 2feet apart. Skip laterally through the bags w/ correct arms (like you are running. this will make you more effiecient on transisitoning from lateral to linear running)

once the skips are down, move the bags 3 feet apart. stay low and push on back side leg. don't reach with front leg because this will end up with your hips in the middle and a pulled groin on your back leg. The purpose of the skips are to concentrate on pushing off the backside leg.

Once the skips are down, run laterally through the bags. when this is good to go, transition back and forth through the bags. Now try and go back and forth, then cut out out straight ahead. you should be going straight out at 90deg and not bannanaing it.

Before actually running out, i have the athletes take just one step to ensure foot placement and hips are low. we work the one step forward, coming back to the inside, and a reverse step back. you can also do multi direction stuff with that. once those are solid, run out 5 yds. Remember the arm exchange should be smooth and no false steps.

Linear deceleration:
Have someone stand behind you and push you so you fall into a lunge position with your arms correct and chest tall. do 5 sets each side. drop your hips. Then have someone push you forward into the lunge position and rev step out of it and run out. make sure they move. So... if your right foot is coming forward, throw your left arm back and take your recovery step with you left leg, opening to the left. Crossover with your right leg and you should be running directly the opposite direction you were pushed from. Make sense... confusing to write down. Basically, if your right leg is forward, open to you left and vice versa.

the biggest things that kids aren't prepared for is hamstrings once they get into sports. doing deceleration work, which can be done laterally to (have someone push you from the side and drop into a lateral lunge, great for hips) will help with hamstring management by getting your ass down so you can use your glutes and hammy's to stop you.

Don't just do drills to do them. I made that mistake in college. Take the time to do them correctly and then go balls out once the form is there.

Any more Q's or clarifications just ask. Thanks, G


Thanks for the info. The decceleration routine was particularly useful, I'd never hard of anything like that before. I'll get out there and start working on these drills tomorrow morning.