Sprinting or jogging? Both are great forms of cardio, but which one is better? Which one should you be doing? In this article we’ll go over 7 amazing benefits to sprinting and why you should start doing it.
Sprinting vs jogging
Sprinting is a HIIT workout where you run for quick amounts of time. It burns more calories, builds strength, and burns fat more than jogging and in a shorter amount of time than jogging, and many athletes prefer the intense short sprints rather than a long jog. (There are also professional sprinting competitions and events.)
While jogging does have benefits and you can jog during the active recovery intervals of a sprinting session, sprinting is said to have just as many (if not more) benefits than jogging and is a very healthy form of exercise.
Benefits of sprinting
These 7 amazing benefits may make sprinting your new favorite form of cardio.
1. Shorter amount of time
As much as we all love cardio, who wouldn’t want to trade in an hour of jogging for doing a group of sprints for 15 or 20 minutes? Sprinting is faster, less time consuming, and just as, if not more, effective than jogging.
In today’s busy world having less exercise time and more time to do what ever else you want can be nice. Sprinting is quick and perfect for maximizing your workouts and keeping them short and doable. (Sprinting is often harder to do than jogging, but its only for a short amount of time.)
2. Strengthens your core
The high intensity explosive nature of sprinting makes it great for losing fat, toning abs and other muscles, and strengthening your core. Sprinting is one of the best exercises to get a flat stomach, build and strengthen core muscles, and gain increased stability and posture. Visceral fat is also burned through sprint intervals, (a stubborn type of fat stored in your abdomen.) Many studies have shown that sprinting burns more fat and is better for toning muscles than jogging is.
3. Burns more calories
Sprinting can burn a lot more calories than jogging depending on the intensity and duration. The results will vary depending on your speed and your weight too, but studies show that the average amount of calories burned in a one minute sprint is 20 whereas a one minute jog burns 10 calories.
Sprinting is also an aerobic exercise, and has high EPOC benefits (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,) which means that you’ll continue to burn calories and fat long after your done sprinting.
4. More effective
Another amazing reason to start sprinting over jogging is because sprinting is more effective than jogging. When sprinting your fast-twitch muscles are activated which build muscle mass, create explosive power, and build strength.
Sprinting is more effective in calorie burning, losing fat, and strengthening many muscles, including your glutes, hamstrings, abs, calf muscles, quads, and hip flexors.
5. Helps build muscle
Sprinting helps build muscles and tendons and is one of the best exercises for a complete muscle training. Sprinting uses dozen of muscles, as well as strengthening them and making them bigger. The force that sprinters use in competing against gravity develops muscle strength, endurance, and stamina. Sprinters often will add lower body exercises like squats or dead lifts to their exercise regimen to help strengthen and tone your muscles.
6. Heart Healthy
Sprinting causes your heart rate to go up and down in a bigger range of beats per second which can strengthen your heart muscle. Your cardiovascular system and blood circulation helps you reduce the risk of heart complications that may occur later in life. While it is important to have a warm up and cool down session before and after, sprinting can have many heart healthy benefits to keeping your heart in good condition.
7. Boosts metabolism
Sprinting gives you a lot of energy and boosts your metabolism (for a longer period of time than jogging.) Sprinting is very intense and your body has a shortage of oxygen during sprinting so afterwards your metabolism stays up restoring oxygen back to the blood stream. Sprinting is a great way to wake up, give you motivation, boost your energy, and start your day.
How to train doing sprints
Sprinting can be done outside or on the treadmill, and can be modified to fit your needs.
Sprinting is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise so the sprinting part will be a short period of intense hard work followed by a rest interval or light jog interval. Your sprinting routine can change depending on what level of sprinting you’re on, or if you just want to mix things up in your exercise.
A beginning sprint can look something like this:
- Warm up for five minutes with light jogging or stretching
- Sprint for 30 seconds at a moderate pace
- Recover for one minute by lightly jogging or walking.
- Sprint for 30 seconds at a moderate pace
- Recover for one minute by lightly jogging or walking
- Repeat steps 2-5 for 20 minutes
- End with a cool down period.
This beginning sprint can be modified to sprinting for just 15 seconds, or keeping the whole process to ten minutes instead of twenty. At the same time, the sprint can be changed to accommodate a more seasoned sprinter, by maybe raising your sprint intervals to one minute, shortening your rest intervals, or repeating the whole process so it takes a longer time.
No matter what level you are at with sprinting it is vitally important to start with a warm up and end with a cool down to prepare your body for the HIIT workout, decrease muscle soreness afterwards, and prevent injury. It’s also highly recommended to space out your sprinting days, for example sprint for three times a week and alternate the days you sprint.
More tips to get the most out of sprinting
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
- Get a nice pair of running shoes
- Practice keeping good form while sprinting
- Keep good arm movements (elbows at 90 degrees bring each hand up during each stride)
- Focus on breathing
- Focus on taking long powerful strides rather than short choppy ones
Do you like to sprint? Have you seen any other amazing reasons why one should start sprinting? Let us know in the comments below.