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40-Yard Dash Exercises

author image Jason Aberdeene
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
40-Yard Dash Exercises
A runner practices up hill sprints for speed. Photo Credit kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images

Certain exercises can improve your speed and quickness while running the 40 yard dash. In addition to sprint exercises, strength training exercises can help you reduce your 40 yard dash time by strengthening your leg and torso muscles, giving you an extra burst of speed when you run.

Strength Training Exercises

Strength training in conjunction with sprinting exercises can help you lower your 40 yard dash time. Although setting up a weekly strength training workout will help maximize the effectiveness of your strength training workout, performing individual exercises will also benefit you. Individual strength training exercises range from squats and deadlifts to bench press exercises and military presses. As you improve with respect to these individual exercises, increase the weight of the barbells and dumbbells you are lifting.

Plyometric Exercises

According to speed coach Tom Shaw, the best way to improve your 40 yard dash time is to improve your standing vertical jump. You can do this by performing a series of plyometric exercises ranging from squat jumps to depth jump exercises. Squat jumps can be performed with a barbell for added resistance. In addition to barbell jumps, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand and perform dumbbell jumps from a basic squat position to improve your explosiveness and strength.

Acceleration Exercises

Acceleration exercises for the 40 yard dash are designed to improve your reaction times as well as your ability to rapidly accelerate. Acceleration exercises can range from dynamic rotation exercises to repetitive line running drills. If you are performing line drills, start by placing two markers five feet apart from each other on the ground. Run between the two markers, touching down with one hand on each marker before running to the next. Repeat until fatigued.

Form Exercises

Form exercises are designed to improve your technique and style while running in the 40 yard dash. Exercises that emphasize form range from high knee drills to balance walking drills.While performing high knee drills, it is important to keep your back straight, lifting each knee as high as it can go before extending it out and down to the ground. Another exercise to improve posture and form in the 40 yard dash is to jog the 40 yard dash, pretending that you have a metal rod down your spine. This will prevent you from angling your body while you run.

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