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Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!


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Old 08-03-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
crystal49d
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Unhappy Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

Hi in my country we have a fitness test every year called the NAPFA test, and I can often get full score for everything except 2 stations: Sit and reach, and shuttle run.

My shuttle run is very inconsistent, during the practice run I get 10.04 seconds (grade A) and then during the real test I get 10.8 seconds (borderline C). How should I be stopping myself when picking up the blocks at the end of each sprint, and should I be running in quick, small steps or long, big steps?

My sit and reach is totally fail. I can only hope to get borderline C in order to get Gold every year. I think it's because my legs are longer and my arms shorter, so it makes it difficult to even touch my toes. Right now, I can do about 35cm and barely touch my toes, but I need to maintain 44cm throughout my life in order to always get C. I tried practicing sometimes, using 2 methods: The normal sit and reach method, and standing up, bending my knees about 1 cm, and touching the floor. Each time I hold about 30-60 seconds. (During the real test some people cheat by pushing their shoulders back, bending their knees slightly, having only the front half of their feet touch the wall, and jerking at the last moment so the meter will move forward =.=)

Any tips on these two? Sprints and stretching.

Thanks for your help

 
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
crystal49d
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Re: Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

Bump

 
Old 08-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
calmbloke
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Re: Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

I would say with small steps you're limited by how quickly you can move your legs in order to make up the distance covered. Personally I wouldn't think about it, I'd just leg it For stretching, perhaps you could try some yoga type exercises to improve your flexibility. Have a search online for some ideas, or maybe try a local class.

 
Old 08-10-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

For the stretch-
You should stretch every day, twice a day if you can. Since your hamstrings are obviously tight, you should hold your hamstring stretches for a minimum of one minute. Use perfect form, so you don't injure yourself.

For the running-
If you run for exercise, do some sprints in there. You'll increase your overall running speed and your sprints will get faster too.

 
Old 08-10-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
crystal49d
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Cool Re: Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

Thanks and when sprinting would you suggest transferring the momentum from heel to toe or sprinting on the heel and front of the foot? Also, what's the best way to stop when picking up the block at the end of the sprint before running back?

 
Old 08-11-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Please help! Need to improve sprints and flexibility!

Ok, sprinting is actually easier than you think. You can get large gains in very small amounts of work. 3 days per week, find a track, which is the best case scenario. If no track, find a stretch of road at least 200 yards straight.

Warm up with jogging for about 10-12 minutes and do some light stretching afterwards. Then, when you are confident that you are loose, do 150 meter sprints. However, your body can only truthfully sprint for about 50 meters, so the 150 serves a couple of purposes.

You'll want to really accelerate the first 50 meters, the next 50 you are at an honest all out sprint, and the last 50 meters you can sort of decelerate.

Walk around and just wait for 5-10 minutes, or until you are FULLY recovered. Then do it again. Repeat this 3 or 4 times. Only do it 3 times per week, with spacing of days, such as Mon/Wed/Sat or something like that.

I don't know how much time you have, but in as little as 6 weeks you will notice you will be faster. Sprinting is typically NOT done on the heel, as heel pushoff is deceleratory. At full throttle and buildup, it should mostly be on the ball of your foot and body leaning slightly forward.

Good luck.

 
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