Strength Training Exercises for Track and Field Athletes

Strength Training Exercises for Track and Field Athletes

Strength training exercises are a must for all athletes. Ideally, this type of training should be included liberally as part of normal physical activity in your training program. Some people believe that strength improvements are only required by men, but they would be wrong, it is needed by both male and female athletes to maximize performance.

Strength training exercises are of different types, and if you are a track and field athlete, you have different requirements. It does not just builds your strength, but also provides you with more endurance.

It is not by chance that all good athletes undergo some sort of strength training. So, why is strength training important? Here are some reasons:

Maximal Strength

Maximum strength is the maximum force that can be generated by an athlete. The importance of maximal strength depends on the event. The greater the maximal strength an athlete has, the more it can be changed into event specific endurance or power. Training for maximal strength can enhance endurance performance and exercise economy. It does not require an increase muscle mass, which is not required by most track and field athletes anyway.

Explosive Power

While maximal strength is required in events that need singular maximal effort (like in hammer throw), explosive power is required for events that are rapid and demand power. Being strong is not synonymous with being powerful. An athlete can be very strong, but he can still have relatively low power. To improve the rate of power production, there is a need for power based exercises.

Strength Endurance

Explosive power is not the only aim of strength training programs. For long distance running events, the most important thing is strength endurance. The greater strength endurance an athlete has in the beginning, the more it can be maintained over longer periods.

Strength endurance may be increased using circuit training, or low weights and more reps. Many strength training exercises are insufficient for events that need a lot of endurance, like 10,000m running. It is best to get a certified trainer to build up strength. Learn how to create your own strength training routine.

Periodization is very important when you do exercises. It is best to divide the complete training plan into small periods or phases, where each has a particular result. This allows event specific strength to reach its peak at the right time, while lowering the risks of over training.

It also permits specific elements of strength training exercises to have a strong fitness foundation. Since athletes can’t perform week in and week out, periodization is necessary. It allows changes in volume and intensity to increase performance for longer durations.

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