Weight lifting is one of the most important parts of an athlete’s training plan for sprinting, jumping, and throwing. So why is it important to the sport of track and field? Below are the top reasons weight lifting is a requirement in being successful.
Strength + Speed = Explosion
Muscle strength is important in the transfer of speed in an explosive jump. You may know some people who are naturally fast and can naturally jump, but when they get running and try to jump they struggle. Most times this is due to a lack of strength in their body. Their body can’t take that great speed and get it off the ground, which is key to any jumping event in track and field.
Besides strength, weight lifting also provides athletes with a better mind-body connection. A better mind-body connection leads to better stability and body coordination. Believe it or not, but this helps athletes perform fundamental track and field motions. You will see athletes whose regulatory weight lift will perform sprint drills and high jump drills better.
A good weight lifting program provides athletes with balanced muscle groups and stronger muscle fibers that prevent injury. Balancing muscle groups can be difficult so adjusting lifting for athletes based on tightness or past injuries is a good practice. Common muscle imbalances that lead to injury in track and field:
- Quadriceps and Hamstrings - Lead to torn or pulled hamstrings
- Glute and Low Back - Can lead to torn or pulled hamstrings or chronic low back pain.
- Hip Muscles - Lack of strength leads to torn or pulled groins and hip flexors. Can also lead to quadriceps injuries.