This Lower-Body Exercise Is Better Than Squats at Making You Faster

Getting stronger can make you faster, but the exercises you choose to build strength can play a role, too. If you’ve been hoping to improve your sprint performance by doing a ton of back squats, it may be time to change up your exercise rotation, a study published in the journal Sports suggests.

Researchers in Spain recruited 24 adolescent female soccer players to perform a 7-week progressive training program to determine whether back squats or hip thrusts were more effective for 20-meter sprints.

They found that the hip thrust group showed greater improvement in their sprint performance, especially during the start of a sprint.

The obvious limitation here is that the tests were done on a thinly sliced demographic of teenage girls who regularly play soccer and had no experience lifting weights. But it’s likely that the results would hold even for other ages and genders since the conclusions were all about muscles and movement.

It all comes down to a term in strength training called the “dynamic correspondence model,” which refers to the transference between an exercise and a concrete movement, said lead researcher Jaime González-Garcia of Camilo José University in Madrid.

It all comes down to the different muscles each exercise works. Hip thrusts target your hip extension muscles—particularly the glutes. These are the same muscles that fire up during the first strides of sprint acceleration, particularly the initial 10 steps.

Read the complete article at Runners World