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Parachute Sprints to Improve Speed

Adding resistance to your sprint work has been shown to increase acceleration. In theory, training the muscles to work at a higher rate will improve speed when the restistance is removed. There are many ways to add resistance to your sprints. The most common resistance devices are the parachute, sled, bungee cord and weight vest. In this article, we have used the parachute to add resistance. The parachutes are fairly inexpensive and are easily transportable.

The parachute sprints should always be performed when the athlete has already completed a dynamic warm up and are prepared for the sprints. Sprints should be performed for distances of 20 yards are more since there can be a short lag time for the parachute to provide maximum resistance. Resistance will also vary dependant on the wind. To maximize the effects of the parachute, add sprints without the parachute. Again, the theory is the muscles are used to working at a higher rate, so when the resistance is removed, the athlete will run at a greater speed.

An example of a sprint program with the parachute is as follows:

  • 20 yard sprint with a walk back to the starting point, repeat 2 more sprints. Remove the parachute and perform one more sprint of 20 yards.
  • Repeat the same program for 40 and 60 yard sprints. Always follow the resistance sprints with a sprint without the parachute.
  • End your sprint program with a light jog and flexibility program.


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