The London Games may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep their spirit alive. Since the Olympic motto is “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” I thought it would cool to share some tips and exercises to help you run faster, jump higher and get stronger. They might not turn you into the next Usain Bolt or LeBron James, but they should at least help you dominate your next pickup basketball game. Or even your next pickup synchronized diving competition.
1. Run Faster
The key to becoming faster is making yourself more explosive. And if you want to improve your explosiveness, you have to do exercises that target your ankle, knee and hip joints. The hips, in particular, are crucial for speed and power, whether you’re talking about sprinting, boxing, soccer or anything else. Another key is to improve your posterior strength—the muscles in your glutes, hamstrings and lower-lumbar region. If you look at Olympic sprinters, most of them have big butts. Same with NFL running backs. That’s the source of their speed burst.
Great Exercise: The Snatch. More than a Brad Pitt movie, it’s also one of the best ways to improve your speed and explosiveness. It’s sort of like a deadlift, but you’re catching the bar over your head with your arms fully extended and driving the bar up. It’s a difficult move, so you’ll want to start with little or no weight until you get down the technique. But once you do, you’ll have an exercise in your training arsenal that engages the entire body to help you explode out of the starting blocks and fly around the track. (Or the conference room.)