Hey folks, Coach Alex here. And today I have a question from one of my email subscribers asking how do they get stronger legs for sprinting. I’m gonna jump into my recommendations and give you some quick, actionable advice.

If you’re new here, I’ve spent the last 10+ years as a professional strength and conditioning coach, I make my living by providing an online coaching service where I guarantee athletes and lifters measurable improvements in their performance (or they don’t pay) so I literally put my money where my mouth is when it comes to topics like this.


My Strength and Conditioning Approach / Philosophy

So if you’ve read some of my content, if you’ve been on my site, you know that I really like to take a simplified, straight to the point, very specific based approach to training. Right? Like I don’t like to kind of mess around with a bunch of different exercises.

So probably right off the bat this tells me that maybe the person that sent me the question hasn’t maybe read a bunch of my articles.

Stronger legs for sprinting – Prerequisites

First up I think is you need to hit the prerequisites, which is…

Are you actually regularly sprinting?

So what I tend to find is that it’s really easy to get distracted with things that are tertiary or secondary to the actual tasks. So I’ve had plenty of people ask me…

  • how do I get faster?
  • How do I, you know, improve my speed,
  • how do I get better at sprinting?
  • How do I run more?

But they’re only actually training the running or the sprinting once or twice a week or sometimes not even that much at all which is just putting the cart before the horse.

If this is you…

you need to make sure that you are at least sprinting on a regular basis. So this is two, three, four times a week. Good quality sprinting practise, technical practise, ideally with a sprint coach.

Me – Coach Alex – Said Right Now

All right, so that’s the baseline. That’s like the fundamentals, right? So make sure you’re getting that then on top of that.

Stronger Legs for Sprinting – My Strength Training Approaches

if you actually want to strengthen your legs for sprinting, it’s just going to be the basics. There’s nothing crazy that you need to do. You don’t need to be an elite powerlifter, you need to be an elite weightlifter. Were looking at the basics. That means the essentials done well and done properly.

So that’s going to be things like:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts or trap bar deadlifts.
  • Leg assistance work sort of like exercises bulgarian split squats, hamstring curls, all of that type of stuff.

Blended, mixed together would work perfectly fine. And it doesn’t need to be anything complicated, right?

leg strength exercises

My Set and Rep Recommendations for Sprinting Leg Strength

Honestly, you can just stick with sets of five to ten reps across most exercises. You might want to go ever so slightly higher in the reps for the assistance exercises, maybe ever so slightly lower in the in the more compound strength exercises, the squats, deadlifts, that kind of thing.

Simplicity Beats Complexity In Strength and Conditioning

You can’t go far wrong with those as your strength exercises. It doesn’t need to be anything super complex. And this is one of the bad habits that people get in when it comes to strength and conditioning.

They see all this fancy stuff online, on instagram and on YouTube and they think that they need to add on all this stuff like unstable Bosu ball exercises, complex isometrics and all this stuff.

sprinting leg strength don't do this bosu exercise

No, don’t be silly, you want the biggest bang for your buck. You want to get into the gym, 45 minutes to an hour tops. You want to hit three or four leg exercises, three to five sets of each. That’s it. That is your entire strength workout, right?

You’re going to do that once, maybe twice a week. And that will give you plenty strong enough legs for sprinting, provided that you’re doing it with enough intensity in the right rep schemes.

If You’re More Advanced / Have Gym Trained For a Long Time

Look, don’t get me wrong, there’s more that we can add to that. There’s plenty of nuance. Of course there is, right? We can look at things like rate of force development (a.k.a. how fast you can produce forces) and stretch shorten cycle mechanics.

These are the things that help you better utilise some of that already existing strength so that you can better transfer that over to your sprinting speed as efficiently as possible. But honestly that’s only something you need when you’ve already built a solid base of leg strength across a range of exercises.

Next Steps

Share, Join My Email List, And/Or Ask a Question (Completely Free)

That was it for today. So if you found this useful…

1) By all means share it around with your friends and family

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3) If you have any questions yourself, feel free to email alex@characterstrength.co.uk and I’ll get back to you – I might even write a full length article like this or film an in-depth Youtube video.

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To Your Performance!

Alex Parry