Sprinting isn’t just for Usain Bolt-type Olympic athletes, the same way jumping rope isn’t solely for Floyd Mayweather’s pre-fight warmup; Running all-out is for anyone looking to build overall conditioning. Sprinting can help boost lung power, increase speed, accelerate fat loss, and increasing lean muscle mass.

If you’re not the biggest cardio fan, here’s some news you can use: Interval training has shown to outperform steady-state cardio when it comes to reducing body fat and burning calories. Sure, all exercises burn calories, and there are many benefits to endurance running, but sprinting comes in strong as it burns more calories and fat both during and after your workout, giving you more bang for your buck!

Linda Solomon, RRCA running coach and marathon runner out of Brockton, MA, says sprinting is perfect for those looking to speed up their running pace as well as fat loss. “Sprinting will increase your speed and endurance, but if your goal is weight loss, sprinting will build lean muscle mass, which will help you meet your weight-loss goal while boosting metabolism.”

For max results, learn proper sprint form

When it comes to sprinting, form matters. “Make sure your arms are by your side in a relaxed position and bring knees up when in motion,” says Solomon. This may not come easy at first, especially if you’re not a runner to begin with. Solomon offers one trick she uses that can help beginner sprinters master their form. “Running up hills is a great way to learn how to sprint correctly because it helps the runner focus on form,” she adds. If you don’t have hills nearby, you can also use a treadmill that elevates.

So, if you’re looking to give your fitness level a boost, try these three HIIT sprinting workouts (warm up first) for you to try this summer at your local track.

Try this dynamic sprinting warmup for better performance:

Courtney King performing high knees for a dynamic warmup

As with every exercise session, warming up is important for injury prevention and performance level. “I recommend at least 10 minutes of warming up before sprinting,” says Solomon. Getting your blood flowing and breaking a slight sweat is key. “Jogging slowly for 10 minutes is a great idea for a warmup,” she says. Incorporating dynamic moves into your warmup will helps loosen joints, ligaments, and muscle fibers as well. A pulled hamstring is best avoided when your body is fully warmed up.

Perform these dynamic warmup moves for 10 minutes (or more if you feel you need to) to ensure your muscles are loosened up successfully.

  • 10 Arm Circles (forward and backward)
  • 10 High Knees (per leg)
  • 10 Knee Hugs (per leg)
  • 10 Butt Kicks (per leg)
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 High Kicks (per leg)
  • Your sprinting speed guide – Grow into your workout

Sprinting is giving 100% of your running efforts, but not every sprint needs to be at its max; especially during warmups and when just starting a new sprinting routine. Here is how you can learn to gauge your sprinting speed.

60% max – This is very similar to a brisk jog. At the end of your sprint, you should feel as if you could sprint again right away.

70% max speed – This is a slow sprint; a pace that cannot be performed long distance. You will be putting lots of energy out, but won’t feel wiped after a few sprints.

80% max speed – At this speed, you should feel like your almost to a full-on sprint. Your sprint form should be in full effect, and you should be winded, but you have some more room to ramp up the speed a little.

100% max speed– You maxed out, you can’t keep going, winded. There should be no question in your mind that you gave it all you had

Now that you know what proper sprinting form is, how to properly warm up, and can gauge your speed, it’s time to rock your HIIT sprint session!

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The 3 HIIT Sprinting Workouts

Muscular man doing HIIT sprinting workouts by sprinting on a running track
Jesus Cervantes

Beginner HIIT Sprint Workout

Difficulty: Easy

  • Slow jog: 10 minutes
  • 100-meter sprint
  • Slow jog: 5 minutes
  • 100-meter sprint
  • Repeat for a total of 30 minutes

Intermediate HIIT Sprint Workout

Difficulty: Moderate

  • Slow jog: 10 minutes
  • Sprint: 30 seconds at 60% max (x2)
  • Walk: 60 to 120 seconds
  • Sprint: 30 seconds at 70% max (x2)
  • Walk: 60 to 120 seconds
  • Repeat for 20 to 30 minutes

Advanced HIIT Sprint Workout

Difficulty: Advanced

  • Jog: 10 minutes
  • Sprint: 30 seconds at 80% max
  • Walk: 30 seconds
  • Sprint: 20 seconds at 100% max
  • Walk: 120 seconds
  • Sprint: 30 seconds at 100%
  • Walk: 60 seconds
  • Repeat for 20 to 30 minutes

For a proper cool down, walk slowly for 5 minutes, breathing slowly and deeply. You may feel very sore the next day due to starting a new exercise routine. Take proper rest days, drink plenty of water, and fuel your body with nutritious foods.

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